Progress: Review it to measure your Success!

Hello to all my readers :),

 

Have you ever asked yourself what is the key to achieve success in the fastest way possible?

 

Have you ever wondered how come most successful people seem to go from one success to another without obstacles?

 

What is the real secret of successful people?

richard-branson-founder-of-virgin-group

If you have ever asked yourself these questions, believe me, you are not alone…I keep hearing the same questions over and over again from my clients, friends, acquaintances, etc. and some time ago, even myself wondered on the same ones. In this article, the final one of the series: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level, I will cover my truth no. 10 : ‘Review your progress and your success with your Coach!‘  :)

This is a quite hot topic and very common one. You will find a lot of different perspectives to answer the opening questions above and surely they have all valid points as they are drawn from own personal experiences.

 

From my own personal point of view, I have noticed a commonality to successful people both included in my own circle of influence, my clients and reading a lot of biographies of successful people: they regularly review their progress with their Coach!

beckham & coach

You might ask: What are the reasons, surely it must be something more complex than this?

 

As human being, we love complicating matters! If it’s too simple we can’t believe it, isn’t it? I’ve been through this reasoning with nearly every client of mine when shown simple tools and techniques to improve their performances, their skills, overcoming their self-limiting beliefs, etc. and guess what? They all said the same: ‘That is it? Isn’t it too simple? Must be something that I’m missing!’ I spend more time reasoning with them why it’s so simple and it will work then explaining the tools and techniques to use! Crazy, isn’t it? :)

 

Think about this:

 

Who is the best person to plan and train Muhammed Ali to be on the ring or David Beckham to kick the ball on the football pitch?

 

Have you ever heard of a boxer or a football team without a coach?

 

What are the reasons why the best athletes in the world still have coaches if they are already above their competitors?

You might recognise these questions as I have already asked them in one of my previous article but they fit perfectly with these article too! By the reflective questions above, it’s clear that there is a huge difference between reviewing our results by ourselves and with a coach otherwise both Muhammed Ali and David Beckham won’t have any. The reasons?

We can find any justification to take specific course of action and achieving certain results but when we review our progress with a coach, he/she will challenge our reasons and unveil our excuses to make us move forward fasterWe need an external person such as a coach/mentor to analyse and provide us with crucial feedback on our performance to move us forward to our next level. Their input is invaluable to our growth and progress and most of the time they will remind us to go back to the basics, as it is usually these key fundamentals that are completely overlooked. These are not the only benefits. Knowing that someone will check on our results will intensify our commitment and accountability and strengthen our focus and motivation to stick to our plan. If you don’t believe me, you have to experience it! 

Let me ask you one more question:

Who is the person that always gets recognised by the winners during their interviews?

I guess the answer is:

Their coach/mentor, isn’t it?

Rob-Ford-football-coach

This should make you think about how successful people raise their bar of their game to take themselves to the next level. :)

Now, here are the two real questions you need to ask yourself:

Are you coachable and willing to accept constructive feedback?

Are you willing to do what it takes to move yourself to the next level of success?

If the answers of both questions are positive then it doesn’t matter where you are now in your life journey. :)

NOW, it’s the time to step up and raise the bar of your game! To accomplish it, you will need clarity, a set of actions to follow, the right tools, strategies, techniques and especially a coach, a mentor and a team to accelerate your journey to your next level of success! :) On this subject, I also invite to read a very inspiring post from my dear bro entitled: Action, Action, Action! Enjoy your reading and as a result, please take ACTION:)

It’s only by doing things others have not that one can advance.’ – George Patton

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To your Successes!

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

 

 

 

Is your Social Proof reliable?

A warm greeting to all my readers :),

Have you ever experienced feeling uncertain and in need to take cues from others to make decisions?

 

Have you ever felt refraining from or doing something just because you are following what other people are doing?

 

How can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals despite having a reliable Social Proof?

 

I personally asked myself these questions and the answers were quite revealing. In this article will cover my truth no. 9 ‘Have Reliable Social Proof!’ I listed this in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

You see many agree that it’s a well-accepted fact now that we are all ‘social beings’ with a basic need to be connected to others. What is not so well known is that we are such social creatures that we are highly susceptible to being influenced by ‘the herd’ and unless we are a strong natural leader, we tend look to others for behavioural cues. If no-one else is doing anything, the thinking goes that there is a good reason for not getting involved. This effect is particularly significant when we are uncertain what to do, for example when we find ourselves in unfamiliar situations.

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It’s common that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct…We are social and tribal beings, and what others think about us remarkably important. In our need for a sense of identity we seek to belong and so easily conform with what others are doing. We view a behaviour as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it. As with the other “weapons of influence,” social proof is a shortcut that usually works well for us: if we conform to the behaviour we see around us, we are less likely to make a social faux pas. Also auditory cues are powerful stimuli because they influence us at a level of consciousness that is difficult to critique. The reverse effect happens too. When others are doing something that we know is wrong, we are more likely to assume that it is ok to do it too. This explains something of how peaceful crowds can turn into unlawful mobs. It also explains how young people turn to drugs and crime when they see their peers acting this way.

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So with this sort of pressure, how can we be ourselves, steer our own ships and be individuals?

Before we dismiss social proof out of hand we need to be fair. Much popular behaviour is valuable and the fact that many people do it may be a good sign that we should follow suit. Regular dental checkups, exercising, taking financial advice and so on, are activities engaged in by millions and with good reason. :)

It’s only when we blindly follow the masses that our individual integrity is threatened – especially when our mind chatter says ‘is this really right?’ before being drowned out by the roar of the crowd. But if we go against the herd at any opportunity then our behaviour is no less mechanical than the social-proof induced actions of a Nazi or fashion victim.

We need to be influenced by those around us for society to function but we also need to understand that more people doing something doesn’t necessarily make it right.

social-proof 2

How do we know if our Social Proof is reliable then?

Saying all the above, we realise that we are social being, of course some more than others as it will depend from our internal or external point of reference. Despise this, we are easily influenced by other people behaviours and at the same time as human being we will need to have the Social Proof that tasks and desired goals have already been accomplished from others to provide us with the certainty that our goal can be achieved. To highlight this point, my dear Bro has written an article on his personal experience to demonstrate what a reliable Social Proof can inspire other to do! As always, I invite you to read his inspirational blog! Here his link: Social Proof…

Take, for example, marathon runners and the time they employ to run one! They provide us with a reliable Social Proof that it is possible for us too!

matathon runners
Since psychological research shows we tend to be influenced by those who are similar to us, we can assume that having a reliable Social Proof will allow us to produce similar results to theirs. Therefore, we will have a reliable Social Proof if the proofs shown are provided by people who are like us, have achieved similar goals and standards to ours and they have a proved record to back up their achievements allowing them to be considered as authority in their field and be worth to look up as role model to follow.

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Is then your Social Proof reliable?

Only you know the honest answer! :)

Remember: The principle of social proof suggests that we tend to look to others to decide what to do, especially when we are uncertain about the correct behaviour. Seeing others doing something has a powerful influence on us, especially if we perceive those others to be a lot like us. :) ‘Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd’ – Annie Besant

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After reading this article, it will be worth to take some time aside for some revision time!

You might consider to evaluate the reliability of your Social Proof, what impact has in your life and most of all, what results are you achieving because of its influence on you! :)

Does your Social Proof make you going forward and nearer to achieve your goals?

Remember: ‘Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit!‘ and ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’ – Martin Luther King Jr

Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results. ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.‘ – Robert Collier

Remember: Having a reliable Social Proof is part of the journey to Success. :)

One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

To your reliable Social Proof!

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

The 7 D’s to Succeed!

A very warm greeting to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well and you are enjoying the snow! :-)

Have you ever wondered what is your missing piece of the puzzle in achieving your goals in the most effective way?

Have you ever been tired of not quite hitting the mark or be unable to get your dream career?

I personally asked myself these questions and the answers were quite revealing. In this article will cover my truth no. 8 ‘Employ the 7 D’s of Success: Discipline, Drive, Delegation, Direction, Decisiveness, Determination and Dedication!’ I listed this in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

You see, I took a while before gathering my answer as I always felt there was a missing piece in the puzzle until I discovered the 7 D’s to Succeed and it provides me with the full answer!

Let’s crack on considering them one by one.

I will love to start with what I consider the starting point: DIRECTION.

direction 2

How do you find what is your direction?

That’s simple, I will say…just respond to the questions below and you will have your answer and discover what is your direction in life.

What do you really want to do?

What are you passionate about?

What do you love doing the most?

What do you want to be remembered for?

It’s very important to have clarity on this subject as it’s essential if we want to use our efforts and energy in the best efficient way possible without wasting them pursuing ‘the next big idea’ heard from other people.

Once we have our direction, DRIVE, DETERMINATION and DECISIVENESS will automatically follow.

What are the reasons?

I will describe DRIVE as that strong and burning desire which lies inside us and difficult to control. ‘The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.’ – Roger BannisterIt’s so powerful that it doesn’t allow us to ignore it and provides us with the motivation needed to take action and keep going until we have achieved it. It has only one direction: FORWARD…nothing and I mean nothing will and can stop it until it achieves his destination: OUR DESIRE GOAL…I’m sure you now know what I’m talking about and I hope you realise the difference between a meagre desire and a very define and strong one. Obviously with this strong desire to achieve our goals, DETERMINATION is already encapsulated in our DRIVE as it goes hand in hand with DECISIVENESS to accomplish our goals and they will provide us with the strength and the firmness to take action to see us through and reach the finish line! ‘The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.- Tommy Lasorda

Decisiveness 1

Then, we need to employ DISCIPLINE…I know for many of us it has a negative connotation…but it’s essential if we want to achieve our goals…it’s quite interesting that the dictionary describes discipline as ‘training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement and controlled behaviour resulting from disciplinary training; self-control. ‘Life is a unique combination of “want to”and”how to”and we need to give equal attention to both.’ – Jim Rohn. It well highlights the reasons behind its importance of achieving our goals…it helps us to adopt a routine and to follow as a habit to ensure we stick to our plan. Motivation makes us start but habit makes us achieve our goals. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ Aristotle

drive

Once we have all the above in place then DELEGATION and DEDICATION have they part in our success!

DELEGATION enables us to accelerate our results and to focus on our priority tasks. I have already suggested some tips to effective delegation in my previous article.

delegation

Obviously to top it all up is our DEDICATION. It enable us to have the commitment and single-mindedness to focus on achieving our results and to get motivated during our setbacks and difficult times.

dedication 2

As you can see, they all go hand in hand and they all play together a part in succeeding and in getting results! :-)

What are the reasons behind succeeding?

We succeed because we are willing to do the things people are not.

We will fight against the odds.

We will sacrifice and we are not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt. Those emotions – we drink them in and then swallow them away.

We are motivated by accomplishment, not pride. Pride consumes the weak – kills their heart from within.

If we fall, we will get up.

If we are beaten, we will return.

We will never stop getting better.

We will never given up..ever..

This is why we succeed!

Your life is waiting to be lived to its fullest, what are you waiting for?

Nothing great has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe something inside them was superior to circumstances.’ – Bruce Barton

To your continued Success!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

The 3 C’s to Results!

A very good afternoon to everyone! :-)

Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried some of the results you were expected are still long way to be achieved?

Have you ever wondered what is the real secret to achieve results in life and in business?

Have you ever asked yourself: What is it the difference that make the difference in achieving results and goals?

Well, I’m going to reveal them to you and I’m pretty sure that there are something that you have already heard, most probably for long time now but they have not been taken seriously and applied to your life to see the results that you yearn for.

This article will cover my truth no. 7 ‘Acquire the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! That I listed in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

I’m guessing that now they ring the bell…and yes, these are the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! :-)

I believe that they all play an important part in achieving results and go clearly hand in hand. When we are confident and committed to achieve our goals, we are consistent in our actions and approaches to life and business. Confidence in our skills and abilities allow us to acquire the vision to see us with our goals already achieved. It provides us with the motivation to start acting to achieve our goal and the strengths to go through any obstacles and setbacks along the way. ‘With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments are beyond your grasp.’ – Jim Loehr I have already written on this subjects and I invite you to revisit my previous articles to get some ideas on how you can become more confident. Here the links: Become Unstoppable! & Become Unstoppable Part 2!

Confidence-Posters

Have you ever taken the time to think of the impact and importance of commitment in your life?

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In this article, I’m going to talk about the key decisions you have to make to get your life, your career and your business on the fast-track of exponential growth

You see, one thing about successful people, it’s that at some point in their life, each one of them has looked themselves in the mirror and decided that ‘enough was enough.’ They were done playing games, settling for table crumbs, standing on the back rows…while other people that they didn’t perceive as courageous or as ambitious, were living in a better home and enjoying a better quality of life than them. It was in that moment that they decided to get serious and committed to being the best and the most successful person they could ever be, both in their life and in their business. I can assure you that all the great ones had this conversation. ‘There’s always a way – if you’re committed.‘ – Tony Robbins

You’ll notice that it isn’t about them so let’s talk about YOU: Have you honestly made the decision to get serious about your life and your business, to stop blaming others and to finally becoming the best successful person you can be?’ This is a simple ‘Yes & No’ answer! It should also be clearly demonstrated by your actions, as behaviours never lie! ‘Commitment is what transform a promise into reality.’ – Abraham Lincoln

So what is your answer? You will become successful in your life and in your business only when you seriously decide to be successful! Until you have done this, you will not have any hopes of achieving your success. You will need to have the commitment to keep going! When the tough get tougher, keep going!‘ – W. Churchill

How do you know when you are really committed to getting results?

How are they demonstrated in your daily behaviour?

Hierarchy-of-Commitment

So commit yourself to your 110% when setting your goal, until you accept the responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste much time and energy. Life is ever so short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our life and business, the better off and the happier we will be. So commit yourself to achieving your goals and reap the results of success! :-) ‘Anything and anyone worth succeeding with are worth committing to. ‘ – Adrian Pantonial

commitment

The secret of achieving results is to Take Consistent Action. This is the actual doing part and what I call the great pitfall where many dreams, goals and ambitions die. You know what I mean, don’t you? Anyone can start but very few finish. Many people can take action once, twice or may even keep going for a few months but eventually they die out. It really amazes me when I would enter a new challenge and I will see the competition happily leap out in front and get off to a faster and more successful start. Then, along the challenge, what happen? You know as most probably you have experienced yourself, most of the competitors will start to slow down to the point of stopping. I found the single discipline that gives me the extra edge to beat anybody at almost anything is CONSISTENCY:-)

consistency

This is what I personally noticed as a pattern. Many people become enthusiastic about new goals or achievements, and they charge out of the gate in an explosion of activity—but their intensity and commitment quickly crackle. Meanwhile, those who begin the journey with less flash but a greater commitment to consistency eventually catch up to their flamboyant peers and leave them in the dust. Do what most people don’t: Stay consistent. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ – Aristotle. On this same subject, my dear Bro wrote a very inspiring post entitled ‘The 3 P’s to success’ where he covers this same point with a synonym word…Go to look it up and see how he applies it with a different perspective!  Enjoy his article! :)

What are the benefits of being consistent?

 

Consistency is important because keeps you on track! By following a consistent approach and by being discipline by sticking to your plan, you are in the best position to monitor your performance and to evaluate your goals or results against the ones set originally! Now, it does not matter what standards you set, it’s your life and your own business, you can set any you like but when you set them being disciplined and stick to it!

 

How can you show more consistency?

 

What can you improve to be more consistent and more disciplined?

 

How do you monitor and review your consistency and discipline?

 

The key lesson is: Do what you say you will do:-)

Be confident in your abilities, be 110% committed to your goals and Take Consistent actions to get nearer to your goals, apply discipline to stick to your plan and you will achieve them with little efforts as this is the secret of Success in achieving amazing results in your life and business!

Remember: When your belief is strong and your purpose just, no obstacle can stand in your way and you will succeed in achieving amazing Results!

To your amazing Results!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

2013: Planning for being your Best Year yet!

Hello readers, :-)

Are you ready to plan for this year to be your best year yet?

Have you reviewed your last year successes and missing goals?

What lessons have you learnt?

What your results have provided you evidence of?

Consistency? Effectiveness?

If you continue doing things the same way this year as you did last year, what type of results can you realistically expect?

What will make this year your best year yet? What make this year different from your previous ones?

…and yes you are right, another year has just gone and the good news is that a new one has just started! :-) New year, new opportunities! Will you spot and capitalise on them?

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

2013 new years resolutions

Well, this year, I have consciously decided to not have any…Surprised? I’m not…This year, I have an Action Plan instead and decided to commit to it. I knew that it would have been a different one in same way or another and I had a great start…Instead of wishing and making New Year’s resolutions as usual, I decided to take ACTION and do what my resolution would have been…be fitter and healthier and do what I really love doing: running!

action plan

So at 11.40 PM on the 31st of December 2012, I left home with my trainers and headed off to Trafalgar Square, my usual running journey. Was it easy? I can assure you, it was everything else than easy…going against the crowd flow, being looked up as a crazy one :), being challenged by a young guy, a bicycle and a car…I have to admit, I felt completely outside my comfort zone but I am proud to have not given in and achieved my first step to my long term running goal: 50 miles in 5 days! :-)

running

What about you?

What action have you already taken this year to bring you nearer to your goals?

What have you committed to achieve this year?

Every 1st of January is the first blank page of a 365 page book. You duty is to ensure to write a good one.

1st page of a book

You see, there are no excuses to start planning your next 12 months as you should had reserved some time during this break to reflect on your past year and above all, to think about what you want to achieve in your next 12 months...

What are the steps you have planned to move you from where you are now to where you want to be (your goal)?

STEPS_goal_setting

The steps that you put in place to achieve your goals are the closing gaps between goal formulation and goal execution and consequently goal achievement. It’s very important to start the new year by taking advantage of the Momentum of the new year with a chick start as it will strengthen your focus and intensify your commitment, add discipline and prioritise your task to achieve your goals! :-) My dear bro, last year had given some very good tips on what he considered in his planning, here his link: ‘Planning for 2012 to be your best year on record…!’

The reality is that any task or goal takes as much as we allow for them to take and by setting non-negotiable deadlines and by not allowing much time to get the results we expect, it won’t take much time to start seeing BIG RESULTS:-)

To achieve our personal best and to start and focused, we need to develop a sense of urgency and importance about what we are doing – urgency to the extent that getting results and achieving our goals is a matter of life or death.

The size of your Success is measured by the strength of your desire and how you handle disappointment along the way.‘ – Robert Kiyosaki

I want to share and leave you with something intriguing and inspirational, it’s one of the most motivational speech from Rocky Balboa:

When Things got hard, you started looking for something to blame. Like a Big Shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know…

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently IF YOU LET IT…

You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. Although it ain’t about how hard you hit… it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward? THAT’S HOW WINNING IS DONE!

Now if you know what you’re worth, Go out and Get What Your Worth, But you gotta be willing to take the hits. Not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. COWARDS DO THAT AND THAT IS NOT YOU! YOUR BETTER THEN THAT.’ :-)

RockyBalboa5

What are your commitments for 2013?

‘Make the next 12 months, the year of YOU! It’s time to bring out your best! :-)

Remember that it takes a second to smile :-), a second to frown, just a second to say ‘I love you’ and a second to say ‘enough.’ It takes a second to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

It takes a second to say ‘let’s do it’ and another second to show you mean it…it takes a second to let go and a second to hold tight.

It takes a second to stop and a second to start. It takes a second to breathe…to blink…to be… So it takes a second to commit to your new life...

The real opportunity of our lives live in these tiny temporal ‘tick-tocks’, and if our life is made up of moments – the seeds of which start with a second … then this is how many wondrous opportunities you have in a single day ! :-)

So go on…’CARPE DIEM’ and make your life extraordinary! :-)

To your commitments to your next Best 12 months!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

P.S. ‘If you want to make yourself accountable, please feel free to leave a comment with your commitment and I’ll be very pleased to hold you accountable of them along this year journey but and there is always a but :-), you need to do what it takes to stick to your commitments and achieve your goals – this requires a two ways effort! :-)

The 2 ultimate methods to increase your productivity!

A warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

This article will cover my truth no. 6 ‘Establish Deadlines and Accountability!’ that I listed in my previous article: 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level.

Let’s start then…

Have you ever struggled to start taking action to achieve your goal?

 

Have you ever felt stuck and tempted to give up as projects bring very small results no matter how much energy and effort you put into it?

Slide 5A

You see, if you experienced any of the above situations, you are not alone. It’s easy to get trap in procrastinating to start taking action to achieve our goals as well as feeling stuck once we started taking action.

Have you ever wondered what are the reasons behind it?

To be able to accomplish our goals, they have to be timed, they have to have a deadline. ‘ A goal is a dream with deadlines.’- Napoleon Hill. Our unconscious mind operates from the principle of mañana, i.e. why do today what I can do tomorrow. If we don’t tell our unconscious mind specifically when we want to achieve our goal, we will not do it. Our goal also has to be set towards what we want, motivating us to keep our focus on it.

 Goals-and-Deadlines1

Once we set a deadline to achieve our goals, we can measure our progress on a weekly and on a monthly basis. This is an essential step to take as review your progress ensures that you have taken all the actions planned for that week. Tick off all actions taken during the week or month and review any you have not actioned yet, noting the reasons or excuses why not.

What are the reasons why fixed deadlines make us achieve our goals?

Simply because, deadline is the time commitment by which your task or goal must be achieved. This is a powerful strategic tool we must use to our advantage. When we set a deadline and expect to get our goal accomplished quickly, they usually do! What are the reasons behind this? It usually takes as much time as we allow them to take! You see, we always work best under a self-determined or externally fixed deadline. By consciously choosing to enforce deadlines, they increase our accountability and focus, essentially fast tracking our results and rewards.

What are the benefits of having deadlines?

A deadline enforces a strong sense of urgency and challenges us to perform. As a result, it generates energy and helps us get tasks done more effectively. The best approach is a clearly understood deadline that is shared, agreed upon and committed to as the silver bullet of proactive behaviour.

Deadlines represent commitment, this is a black and white choice: you are committed or you are not.

Deadlines enforce accountability and they create a sense of urgency to improve your results.

Goals focus on what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve them. As such it can happen that they fail to generate the necessary sense of urgency. Day to day routine and demands usually take precedence, meaning the execution of our goals will be put on the back burner. Consequently, effective strategic planning requires deadlines. Put the deadline dates on your calendar to ensure that you remain focused and on track to achieving your goals.

diary

Usually, once the deadlines are set, the adrenaline starts to flow and you will pull together to set aside short-term demands and focus on the future. Your challenge is to meet each deadline set and astound yourself by what you are able to accomplish! :-)

 

Fixed deadlines, no-negotiable deadlines make us watch how we use our time. Knowing that the clock is ticking is one of the best motivators for taking action. It represents our commitment, reinforces our accountability and creates a sense of urgency! ‘The ultimate inspiration is a deadline.’ – Nolan Bushnell

 clock is ticking

We have just discussed the first method to become more productive and efficient is to have a deadline!

The second method which goes in hand with the first is to be held accountable to someone i.e. a coach to ensure that you take all the actions on a weekly basis, avoid excuses and keep moving forward in the fastest and most efficient way possible!

 accountability

I speak from personal experience, since I immersed myself in self-development, I have always had coaches for different tasks in my life, at one point I had six. The reason is because we are accountable to them, we will have fixed deadlines and we will be monitored on our progress from an external person which increases our motivation and our accountability to achieve our tasks.

Also, our review our progress, provide us with invaluable feedback, tips and suggestions. This helps speed up our progress to get to the next level by avoiding setbacks and sidestepping inefficient strategies that will only slow us down! As a result of having coaches, our focus is intensified. Knowing that both options and time are diminishing assets, our ability to focus on high payoff activities becomes an obvious priority.

Overall we become more productive and efficient if we fully capitalise on our coach’ s expertise and knowledge.  Given that experience and knowledge are possibly two of the most expensive assets in the world, it’s a tremendous advantage to make full use of your mentors and coaches. Think about how much more you could achieve if you have 20 years more experience behind you. :-)

beckham & coach

I speak from personal experience, I’m a deadline person. I work on numerous projects at the same time and I found that what makes me successful, productive and more efficient is that I have deadlines to meet. This means I have no choice but to get things done by setting clear goals, raising the bar, setting up my game and embracing a take-no-prisoners attitude. Also I need to be accountable to someone else externally to get the job done! Having coached many entrepreneurs and people, clearly those whom hold the greatest accountability to me with strict deadlines, achieve the greatest results. Guess what I’m known as now? ‘The Accountability Coach!’ :-)

It’s not an easy journey, I know. You might encounter a lot of setbacks and obstacles along the way but believe me, it’s a worth one!

I will leave you with an empowering quote to build your motivation to get started and to keep you going:

‘Never quite. If you fall…get right back up. If doesn’t matter what happened yesterday.

Today’s a new day. It’s up to you to get back on track. It’s up to you to move closer to your goals and dreams.

YOU CAN DO IT.‘ – Brad Gouthro

Always remember I am happy to share your journey with you, so please do get in touch if you are looking to bring yourself to the next level in your life! :-)

To your increase Productivity!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

No Pain No Gain…It’s the name of the game!

A warm greeting to all my readers, :-)

Today’s article will cover a subject very important for making things happen! Well, the title could mislead you but in a nutshell, it’s essential to go through some pain to get results and I’m sure that you are familiar with the saying ‘No pain no gain’ especially in the fitness world…My fitness coaches keep reminding me that if I don’t feel pain and exhaustion at the end of our sessions, I have not worked hard enough and given my 110%. Honestly, I have to agree with this so I welcome pain as crazy as it might sound! ‘I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count! No Pain No Gain!’ – Muhammad Ali. As I have experienced, when I don’t commit myself and take things seriously, I usually don’t produce any tangible and satisfying results! What about you?

If you remember in my article 10 Essential Truths to take yourself to the next level, my truth no.4 is: Get serious about your goals and have fun! This was actually the first lesson learnt during my 100 days challenge and I would love to share it with you as its concepts are very powerful! :-)

The crude reality of life is that we will make progress only after we commit ourselves and get serious on getting results. If not, setbacks and obstacles will slow us down and cause a lot of frustration! In fact, it’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win, have fun and always finish successfully. ‘Make sure that people are having fun. Fun is not about acting stupid. It’s the feeling you get when you’re on top of things.’ – Richard Brandson

I believe that we all heard the expression of ‘commitment’ and usually we do associate a pain connotation to it, right? Ask yourself: Have you ever taken the time to think of the impact and importance of this word in your life? In this article, we are going to talk about the key decisions you have to make in order to get your life, your career and your business on the fast-track of exponential growth.

You see, one thing about successful people, it’s that at some point in their life each one has looked themselves in the mirror and decided ‘enough was enough’ and they were done playing games, they were done for settling for table scraps, they were done for standing on the sidelines… while other people that they don’t perceived neither to be as bright or as challenging, lived in a better home and enjoy a better quality of life and lifestyle. It was in that moment that they decided to get serious and committed to be the best and the most successful person they could be. They made the conscious decision  of accepting the ‘No Pain No Gain’ principle as the name of their game to raise their bar to the next level! ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion!‘ – Muhammad Ali.

All the great ones had this conversation. What about you? Have you honestly made the decision to get serious about your life, to stop blaming others and to finally becoming the best person you can be? This is a straight forward ‘yes or no’ answer! One that is clearly demonstrated by your actions simply because behaviours never lie!  Simply put, your behaviours tell the world if you are committed or if you are just messing around. So what’s the answer?  Too many people take a casual approach to life. They have the audacity to complain and make excuses when things don’t go their way. This is some kind of sickening and demanding joke as these people are delusional and they really thing that they can get ahead with life without getting serious and committed of how they can use their precious and limited time. Obviously, you can disagree with the following statements but eventually you will come to the understanding of that you have not choices of accepting it as reality.

You will become in great physical shape only after you get serious to get fit and not one second sooner. Until you decide the decision to become physical in shape, you will continue suffer the consequences of remaining in the situation you are in. I am speaking from personal experience here! ‘Getting in shape is simple,  not easy.  Take time to learn the route to your goals and prepare your mind for the challenges you will overcome!’ – Rolsey

You will become successful in your life only when you seriously decide to be one and not one second sooner. Until you decide to become successful by developing a plan and executing it consistently, you will forever remain in the situation that you are currently in.

You will make advancements in your career or in your business only if you decide to make excellence in your operating standards. Until you choose excellence and commit to raise your standards, your performance will be inconsistent and your opportunities will be limited.

You will enjoy a great and happy family life only after you decide to commit yourself to them and not a second sooner. Until you choose to build a loving, nurturing, safe and supporting family relationship, your relationship will continue to remain as it currently is.

You will leave a significant and lasting legacy only after you consciously decide and commit about the contributions you want to make during your lifetime.

In a nutshell, until you choose to do something important with your life and until you embrace a cause that you passionately believe in, you will continue to waste your time and your talents. As mentioned before, behaviours never lie.

At this point, you might ask yourself:

How do you know when you are really committed to getting results?

How are they demonstrated in your daily behaviour?

These are simple questions to answer as you demonstrate you are committed when you do the following:

1. When you set realistic but challenging deadlines and honour them.

2. When you look for solutions rather than focusing on problems and who’s to blame.

3. When you take initiative and proactive behaviour without being told what to do.

4. When you focus on adding ever greater value.

5. When you go the extra mile as a habit not as a selective exercise or show case on special occasions.

6. When your ability to execute matches your capacity to imagine a new future.

7. When you consistently meet or exceed the quota.

8. When you are on-time and fully prepared for meetings, you demonstrate your commitment and professionalism.

9. When you arrive to work early and stay later.

10. When you accept reality as it is, not as it was or how you would like it to be.

11. When you make far more deposits than withdrawals into your relationships.

So let’s face it.

The reality is that each one of the actions listed above will require a certain amount of sacrifices and pain in order to accomplish them! This reminds me of one of my dear bro favourite blogs entitled ‘Are you prepared to sacrifice?‘. I warmly invite you to read his inspiring blog as it could impact your life too as it did with mine! In fact, after I read it, I had the conversation previously mentioned that ‘enough was enough’ and it was NOW time to get serious, make sacrifice, suffer the pain associated to it and produce the desirable results. You see, until you accept the wisdom and responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste a lot of time and energy. Life is ever so short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our life and business, the better off and the happier we will be.

Be serious in setting and achieving a number of goals. Your commitment about generating big, bold results is critical to every success you experience in your life and in your business and when you do achieve them, you have already forgotten all the setbacks, obstacles, sacrifices, efforts and the pain associated to it, right? ‘If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.’ – Anne Bradstreet

Remember that every day is an opportunity for improvement and each step moves us a step closer or farther from our goal! So commit yourself and get serious to achieve your goals, welcome the pain associated to it and as an outcome, you will reap the results of success! :-)

Let’s be truly honest that ‘No Pain No Gain’ is really the name of our game as we have only two choices when it comes to producing results and being successful. We suffer the pain of discipline and we get results and success or we suffer the pain of regret and we get disappointment and frustration!

Which one have you chosen until now?

Which one will you choose from now on?

I’ll leave you with two of my all time favourite quotes that keep me motivated:

‘It ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. It’s how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!’ –Rocky Balboa

‘When you want to SUCCEED as bad as you want to BREATHE, then you will be SUCCESSFUL’ – Eric Thomas

Only when you get serious and you are committed to something, you accept NO EXCUSES, only RESULTS!

To getting serious on producing results and success! :-)

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

An investment in your knowledge always pays your best interest…

A big hello to all of you,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

Today’s article is based on my truth no. 3, to ‘Invest in yourself and your education’ as stated in my previous article: 10 essential truths to take yourself to the next level.

Before I begin I would like to send appreciation for all of your messages you have given me in my last few articles. The feedback and comments have all been very valuable to me! :-)

‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin, this is one of my favourite quotes. Mainly because it is one that has guided me throughout my life. You can also see it makes a good title for an article too! :-)

Saying, reading or visualising this quote is one thing but living it is another. Was investing in my knowledge easy? Definitely Not! Was it worth it? Definitely Yes!

Some of you might think: Investment, that’s out of my league? I’m struggling to get to the end of the month, especially with prices on petrol, food and clothes etc. going up every day! Unfortunately for some of us, this is a reality which frustrates and impacts our lives with great weight, right?

Think for just a minute: How did you get where you are now?

Just to clarify that I’m not an economist or a financial advisor… yet J (although I have worked in financial services for nearly 10 years)…Instead I’m speaking from my knowledge and experience on personal finances. Having grown up in my dad’s business as a child I’ve lived and breathed these matters on a daily basis, allowing me to now live in a good financial position. :-)

Below are listed some common reasons to justify our bad finances. Which one do you resonate with the most?

* Overspending

* Impulse spending

* Overuse of credit or debit cards

* Spending without tracking

* Buying unnecessary items

* Not paying bills on time

* Lack of experience

* Negative circle of influence

* Debt from family

* Bad Investments

* Failed businesses

What are the commonalities of all these reasons?

The first six reasons are likely to be based on our lack of discipline and indulgency, I hope you agree with me but the latter two are most probably because of lack of knowledge, experience, resources, etc. right?

If this is the truth then it seems like a catch 22. If you don’t have the finances, you can’t get your knowledge, resources, etc. Is this a common thinking process? Unfortunately, it is, but it’s also a reality for some of us…

If this is the case for many of us, what are the reasons why we are talking about investment and especially investing in ourselves?

The real reason is this:

Are you planning to live the rest of your life struggling to get to the end of the month or to become a financially independent and successful person?

You have only two options. Even if you don’t make a decision, that in itself is one too! This is because you are essentially not choosing to either figure out how to get to the end of the month or become financially independent.

If we are talking about your best assets, we are talking about YOU! Think about marketing…Who do people buy? Your product, your services or YOU! What about business? What do your clients buy? Your company, your brand, your marketing or YOU!

If everything is about us, what are the reasons to improve our brand, our company image, our products, our services, etc? Does it not pay us off a better interest to invest in ourselves and in our knowledge?

Saying that, I’m not vouching that you are magically going to be a guru in all aspects of your life, far from it! You might have heard of the expression of ‘being a master of one instead of a jack of all trades!’ You just need to specialise in one aspect, gain as much knowledge as you can on a specific subject that you are passionate about and leverage your knowledge and experience to build your visibility and credibility in the market place…YOU are the one that is going to make a difference in your life and business, no one else… and if this is true, is it not logical to invest in yourself to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to step up to your next level? My common sense replies with a resounding ‘YES’! What about yours? … It was Aristotle who said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do … Excellence is therefore not an act but a habit.’ If we want to improve ourselves, we need to invest firstly in us and in our education to avoid pitfalls and recognise opportunities. We also need to have clarity and direction in our life and business to avoid being distracted by the limitless information now available.

You see, this morning I was reading a post from a very talented guy related to this very topic: finance and more specifically on trading the world financial markets. I actually invite you to read his blog as he has beautifully put things into perspective and mention one of the most important concepts and variables in the finance and investment world: Risk vs Reward. Visit his blog to read the full article: Trader Focus.

After I finished reading the blog, I recognised that it reinforced the concept highlighted in last week’s article about the main commonalities in all aspects of life. Below I have summarised it’s meaning in 4 stages, from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

 

Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence

This is where we are not aware of our lack of knowledge in a specific subject such as boxing, coaching, trading and business.  Moreover the existence and benefits of rules, strategies and systems. Only until we become conscious of our incompetency will we start developing any further skill.

Stage 2: Conscious Incompetence

At this stage we become aware of the existence and benefits of rules, strategies, and systems to develop our skills and knowledge further. We also consequently commit to learning them as they will improve our performance and results.

Stage 3: Conscious Competence

We become consciously competent when we can follow the rules, strategies and system reliably at will. We will need to concentrate and think in order to accomplish the task effectively as the skills acquired are still not yet ‘second nature’ or ‘automatic’ to us. Daily practice will be the most effective way to move to the last stage.

Stage 4: Unconscious Competence

At this stage, our tasks and skills are ‘second nature’ to us as we have practiced them so much that it enters the unconscious part of our brain like Warren Buffet. Now, we will be able to teach others in the skill acquired, although after you have achieved this level for some time it might actually be difficult to explain exactly how we do it – we just instinctively do it without thinking!

At this point, results and periodic reviews will play the most important part to maintain this level of competency. We need to ensure our skills are being kept up to standard, and we are not acquiring bad habits, overconfidence or breaking of rules. The best person to check your results and provide you feedback will definitely be your coach and mentor.

What is the benefit of knowing the 4 stages of competency with regards to your learning process?

It definitely will help us during the moment of setbacks as we will know at what stage we are at and anticipate how long it will it take to get to the next stage. I honestly have to say that whilst it could be possible to identify the different stages by ourselves, the best person to do it is actually someone external i.e. a coach/mentor. They have already being there and done it as he/she can give a more objective evaluation of what stage we are in and what actions we need to take to move forward in the most fastest and efficient way possible. To illustrate this point, I still remember asking my trading coach about a year and a half ago, what my stage was. He responded I was at stage 3 and I was disappointed as I thought I was at level 4. I just thought he wanted to give me a hard time but sadly I have to admit in hindsight I knew he was correct. I thank him for being honest in his evaluation, because now I know what it means to be at stage 4. Based on the above learning journey, we should be able to identify what stage we are in the different aspects of our lives. ‘Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.’ – Christian Larson

 

Now ask yourself the following questions:

Which stage are you on in terms of your investment knowledge?

How much is your investment in yourself paying off?

What are the reasons behind postponing your self-investment?  Remember that tomorrow is not always guaranteed!

Take some time to ponder over these questions, then answer them honestly. Finally analyse and evaluate your answers, your future could very well depend on it! :-)

It’s NOW time to take the decision. Self-investment might be difficult, due to the amount of money and hours you need to pour into it, but as I said at the beginning of this article, in the end it will be well worth it!  This is not the time to be laid-back or give up just because this path may lead to difficult challenges.  Believe me, the first step is the hardest to take but it’s so worth it! Take heed from this quote from Churchill: ‘When the tough get tougher, keep going!’ Don’t give up your goals to step up to the next level even before you have started! The moment you give up you let someone else win. This could very well be your next contract, clients, business, promotion, etc. Recently, my dear bro, wrote a very inspiring article on this subject. Please visit and read his blog at: When the going gets tough, keep going. ‘SUCCESS seems to be connected with ACTION. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit!‘ – Conrad Hilton

Remember that the most expensive asset we possess is our experience. This is because it is paid for dearly with our most valuable assets: time and energy. This is simply because without the right amount of knowledge we cannot leverage and capitalise on it. :-)

To gaining greater success from your self-investment! :-)

Have a lovely and amazing week!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

Boxing, Trading, Coaching, Business & Life: What are the commonalities of Success?

A very warm greeting to all my readers, :-)

When did you last do something new for the first time?

Have you ever experienced keeping a commitment that you knew would affect you in a negative way?

To celebrate the first year of my blog, I want to thank everyone who has been reading and sharing my articles! Having started it off exactly a year ago for just a few friends and clients and to see it grow to such an extent is wonderful! I would love to share with you a recent experience that shows that I ‘walk my talk’ as it forced me to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and to train my mindset to turn a negative situation into a positive one. ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door!’ – Milton Berle

As mentioned in last week’s blog ‘Raise the bar of your game!’, one of my fitness coaches, Dwayne, asked me to come along to a particular boxing event he was fighting in. Even though, I was surprised by his request, I did not want to let him down and I happily agreed. Rocky also happens to have a special place in my heart, and seeing the real deal for the first time was something I wouldn’t want to miss! I dedicate this article to Dwayne! Well done and keep going! Look forward to your next fights! :-)

Having seen all of the Rocky films I did not think it would be too different to a real fight …. oh how I was wrong! Ironically I had a fitness session with him just before his fight on the following day. In the final moments of the session when he provided me with the venue and the time, something strange happened to me. I really felt overwhelmed. I was going through some emotions and feelings I had never experienced before and I wasn’t sure of the reasons behind them. Well, I promised Dwayne that I would go to support him and as I am a person of honour, I kept my word. That being said, I could not sleep all night at the thought of watching my fitness coach getting beaten up in the ring.

The day arrived and I was feeling so sick I couldn’t drive and ended up taking public transport. After watching the first match, I really couldn’t bare it any longer. I really was feeling sick, my stomach was going all over the place, just seeing guys get beaten up, with blood going everywhere, I could not believe it! Fortunately, the guy next to me started a conversation which distracted me from watching the match. Then suddenly something happen to me! It was like, my mind would not accept what was going on emotionally and something switched – I started to watch the matches to find out how the matches were judged. I suddenly started to recognise patterns and similarities between boxing and trading. My next thought was if there were similarities between the two, then there must be similarities with business and life too. From then on, all my sickness and emotion disappeared and my analytical mind took over.

I started to ask myself these questions:

What is the commonality between boxing, trading, coaching, business and life?

Is there a formula, pattern or process that I can recognise and apply to all of the subjects above?

How can I transmit my discovery in an easy and simple way to others?

Well, the answer was a resounding ‘Yes’ which did not surprise me at all!

Here are the commonalities I have discovered during my experience:

Have a Coach, a Mentor and a Team

Before the beginning of every boxing match, the coaches/mentors were doing their due diligence in checking that the gloves, face covers, teeth protections, shoe laces, etc. were all up to standards, to allow the boxers to fight safely. Is this not something we do in business, trading, coaching and in life? For example, don’t we do our due diligence before commencing a marketing campaign, before we enter any trade, before coaching any clients and before we make decisions in our life? I’m sure you will agree this step is particularly important, as it can reduce the chances of negative consequences, such as investing in non-profitable businesses, employing the wrong people, entering the wrong trade, using the wrong coaching techniques, etc.

After each round the boxers would go back to their corner for feedback on their performance. Surprisingly the advice would nearly always have emphasis on the foundations, such as the basic moves in boxing i.e. how to breath and use combinations: straights, uppercuts, hooks, etc. This applies even more so in trading, in coaching, in business and in life: we need an external person such as a coach/mentor to analyse and provide us with crucial feedback on our performance to move us forward to our next level. Their input is invaluable to our growth and progress and most of the time they will remind us to go back to the basics, as it is usually these key fundamentals that are completely overlooked.

A strong team is also crucial to the success of the athletes. Often you do not see the full extent of their work at sporting events however they train directly with the athletes to prepare them for the competition. They help the athlete to practice to improve their techniques, to simulate the opponent, to provide a positive support network.

At the boxing event I noticed the crowd would be full of each sides teams, jeering their club along. Clearly this is important for motivation and support in the moment of setbacks, as it incites us to ‘keep going when the tough gets tougher!‘ – W. Churchill.

Training and Planning

As a rule of thumb, in trading, coaching, business and life, we need a lot of training in order to transfer our ‘classroom or course’ knowledge into the ring, live trading and in business. You will agree with me that training is different from the implementation. We need to put everything learnt together to make it work! For example, I was thinking that there is an insane amount of training needed in boxing, just to stand in the ring for 6 minutes (3 rounds for 2 minutes each)! As a result, simply training will not cut it. To ensure that time, resources and efforts can be used to the greatest effect, planning is also vital! ‘He who fails to plan is planning to fail‘ – Winston Churchill

How can you work smarter and not harder in business, trading, coaching and life?

Where do you want your business, your trading and your life to be in the next three or five years?

Keep the momentum going

This is connected to the coach/mentor and team concept. When the boxer went back after each round, he got some techniques and feedback from his coach/mentor to implement in the next round. What I noticed was that immediately after it, the boxers implemented the suggestions given from their coaches but after 15/20 seconds they went back to their previous techniques and habits. Is this not the same in trading, business and life? We get tips, suggestions, tools, new ideas, techniques from our coaches/mentors and teams and we are excited and enthusiastic at the beginning. We keep the momentum going for a little while, until we go back to our usual practices and habits. The consequence of which is of course poor results, we end up blaming others for it! It’s sad but it’s a cruel reality and this is the main reason why people don’t accomplish their goals as they get stuck in a catch 22 especially if they want to do everything by themselves!

Employ the right strategy, technique and tools to succeed

I have noticed that boxers that were taller and look stronger seemed more confident on winning at first but this was not always the case. In fact during the boxing event, most of the time the opposite occurred. In life this has always been the case for me too. I think this is probably because the shorter and less strong among us have to learn to adapt to keep up with the rest of the crowd. They grow up being more self-aware of their abilities, which allows them to maximise their strengths and talents more effectively.

In the case of boxing it appears that victory is awarded to the fighter who employs the best strategic approach, capitalises on the competitions weaknesses, trains harder and plans in advance. Often, being taller and stronger will make you feel overconfident and therefore may play a negative effect on preparation, training and assertiveness.

What gives us a better edge in trading, coaching, business and life? Clearly it is the same as in boxing. Having the best strategy, technique and tools to complete our objective will allow us to capitalise on our strengths more effectively than our competition.

Social proof and external environment

How do they affect our decisions and actions? They have a great weight on them. For example, even if I have personal proof and experienced that Dwayne, my fitness coach is a very good boxer, I only had confirmation of this when watching him in the ring. The guy next to me, who also happened to be a boxing coach, added to this and complimented his superior techniques. At that point, I just concentrated on analysing his techniques and to see if ‘he walked his talk’ and honestly speaking, he fully did. I have to say I am very proud of him!

What about the external environment, does it affect us? Well, to relate to my boxing experience, the audience was shouting all sorts of advice to the fighters in the ring i.e. get your jabs going, straight punches, uppercuts, hooks, double jabs, jacks, duck, stay back, don’t give space, put him in the corner, double pin – pin, on your toes, etc.

How would you feel if you were in the ring listening to all these different advises?

Confused, right? Is this not exactly the same thing that happens in, business and life? How many times have you experienced someone who has shared new trading or marketing strategies, new advises and new self-help books with you? We are bombarded by them aren’t we?

What can we do in cases like this?

I have asked Dwayne if he could hear what the crowd was shouting at him during his bout. This was his response: ‘To be honest, I don’t hear anything. It’s all a blur. The only thing I can hear is the odd instruction from my trainers. I love it because I feel in the zone and at peace. Like I’m not worrying about work, money, problems, anything. Just fully concentrating!’ With his answer, Dwayne beautifully summaries the same type of mindset that is required to become successful in trading, business, coaching and life. This applies even more so in trading, our mindset needs to be in the zone, focused and at peace with no emotions involved! Easier said than done, I know that’s what you are thinking right now! :-)

Performance

Performance doesn’t lie. In boxing, you know when you have had a good performance as you can physically feel how well you have done! It allows you to identify what’s working and what isn’t.  It’s the proof of the effectiveness of our efforts, skills, abilities, training undertaken, strategies employed and accomplishments.

Likewise, success in trading, coaching, business and life is based on our performance. What is it that investors, clients, potential prospects are looking for in business? If you run a business, you know the answer: investors are looking for past and present performance of the company and the projection of future performance based on the actual one. Improving our performance also has a positive impact on our confidence which can further perpetuate better results in the future.

Results and review

Based on my personal experience on running my dad’s business, my own business and the experience working with client companies, results and reviews are both some of the most important factors if you want to take yourself to the next level.

In boxing you can measure results based on the feedback from your coaches/mentors and team as well as the tangible results of your training and performance in competitions. The quality of the feedback received is also important. For example, due to the rules in amateur boxing usually the outcome of the fight is left to the judges. Should one boxer triumphant over another, the referee will announce one of the two options: ‘unanimous or by majority’. Is this a significant piece of information to receive as a feedback of the boxer’s results? Definitely, if unanimous it meant that his performance was judged by all 5 different judges to be superior to his opponent’s – if it was in majority it meant that 3 or 4 judges thought that his performance was superior to his opponent’s. Clearly wining with majority shows that there is room for improvement.

How important is feedback to trading, coaching, business, and life?

In trading I personally found that nothing is more valuable than some objective tips and advice from your coach/mentor, particularly after reviewing your trades and past performance. I believe this is just as vital in business and life, don’t you? So don’t mislead yourself thinking that you can skip this step – I personally treasure feedback as the most valuable information to be given, and certainly thrive on them. People around me know what are the questions that I will always ask them: ‘What can I improve? What can I make better and more efficient? How can you benefit more? How can I make it worth of your time? What information and resources do you need to step up to the next level?’

So there you have it. All of my learning lessons I picked up during the boxing event. After reflecting on my list of discovers, I looked for some connection between them. I realised that the real commonality of all of them is they all contribute to the 4 Stages Journey that starts from the point of learning a new skill and ends at the point of unconscious competency.

What do I mean by unconscious competency?

In terms of a skill this means to be able to do it without thinking. Think about driving a car, when you first started you had to think about what you were doing. Now the process is effortless right? In next week’s article I will elaborate more on competencies, why it is important to know level you are currently at and how you can use this to your advantage.

The reason we often hear that the mastery of things can only be achieved by making errors is that mistakes shape our subconscious quickly – in other words there is a difference between knowing what to do and automatically doing what we know. ‘Mistakes are painful when they happen. But year’s later collection of mistakes is called experience, which leads to success.’ – Denis Waitle. I invite you to ready a blog written by my dear bro on this very subject: ‘If you are not making mistakes, try harder’.

So when was the last time you have done something for the first time?

As you can see from my experience It may reveal some new skills to you as it did to me! Embrace them and turn the poison into medicine to benefit you and make you grow! :-) ‘For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist to survive but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.‘ – Arnold Schwarzenegger

It doesn’t matter where we are in life, if you have the right tools, techniques and especially a coach, a mentor and a team, you can accelerate your journey to your next level of Success! :-)

….and to conclude, who said that boxers are aggressive?

Based on my experience, they have a lot of respect to the point of hugging each other during the match! :-)

Remember: Today is the perfect day to start. Why? Because you will never find ‘the right time.’ You’ve just got to do it. Get the ball rolling. Take one small step every day in the direction of making your dream a reality. Make TODAY your SOMEDAY. It’s worth it and you know it! :-)

To your life journey success!

Viv :-)

Raise the bar of your game!

Hello readers,

Hope my article finds you well! :-)

 

Have you ever experienced any of the following?

  • Have you put a lot of effort into a project only to bring in measly returns? Did you feel stuck and were you tempted to give up?

 

  • Have you been in a situation where you felt you weren’t earning what you truly deserved?

 

  • Have you been stuck in a job that does not allow you to shine?

 

  • Do you want your name to be valued and respected and to live a life more wholesomely connected?

 

  • Do you long for positive change in your life? Are you longing for an opportunity to show your worth?

 

…… or perhaps it’s time for you to step up and raise the bar. Maybe you are after that salary, that contract, that client or there is something inside that tells you there is more and that you are borne to be great.

If you have experienced any of the above, you are not alone. In fact, I have recently felt connected to some of them too and even today I have received one of the most painful news ever. I was really looking forward to cooperating with one of the most inspirational guys that I know on a a project very close to my heart and today he informed me that he would not be able to as he is too busy with other projects. Did I despair or give up? Not a chance! Although I am downhearted by this news, I am a strong believer that I am the creator of my own path. I’ll do whatever it takes to make things happen, and raise the bar of my game to take my life to the next level!

During this period, the concept that really strengthen and resonated with me was that when we feel overwhelmed, discouraged and downhearted, we need some external support. Above all guidance, motivation and inspiration from someone that has walked the same path before us. For those of you who have read my article 10 Essential Truth to take yourself to the next level’ you will notice that this highlights my second strategy, to have a coach, mentor and a team.

 

How important is a coach/mentor to your success?

An experience I recently had beautifully answered this question. It all started when one of my fitness coaches, Dwayne, invited me to attend his boxing match which took place last weekend. Unknown to me at the time I felt very strange about the whole ordeal. Seeing boxers get beaten up with bloody noses …. oh it was very uncomfortable to watch! I definitely picked up a lot of learning lessons and don’t worry I’ll share the whole experience in my article next week … so stay tuned.

Now back to the subject of coaches, mentors and teams. I’ve listed some main observations I had during the boxing matches below:

1.       Coaches/mentors share their own experience

One thing that you might notice if you’ve watched boxing matches before, is during the breaks the boxer speaks to their coaches/ mentors for feedback and most importantly for tips and techniques to implement in their next round. Being there in person I could really see how heavily they relied on their coaches feedback. Based on the body language in these breaks, I could literally tell which of the two boxers was going to make the first move …

Something more intriguing was the way the boxers adapted to each other as the rounds went by. You could see how each coach/mentor would try to pick out the other teams weaknesses. Moreover how to overcome their sides bad habits. Have you ever tried to overcome one of your bad habits in the past? Challenging wasn’t it? Now imagine trying to overcome a bad habit when you are in the firing line of a boxing match.

You might also be wondering: how much can a few bits of advice from a coach/mentor really have?

Even if the coach is suggesting a few tweaks here and there, they can lead to profound changes in the athletes performance. Just think about golf, if you hit the ball at slightly the wrong angle you are going to end up miles off course! Those of us who run businesses will know how one simple idea could very well lead to massive exponential growth.

2.       Coaches/mentors are committed to our success

Something else I noticed was commitment and trust between both the boxers and their coach/mentors. The athletes would continue to look to them for help throughout the three rounds. Imagine if it was you who was taking a beating and you were putting your faith in someone outside of the ring, who is probably out of shape and long past their prime.

How would you feel about that?What kind of trust would you have to have in that person to listen to their advice?

On the other side, imagine yourself now as the coach. You have 20 years of experiencing in training and your athlete is taking a pounding. You know what he needs to do to take the win but you can’t get in there and fight the fight for him. Imagine how frustrating it would be for you. Think about the type of patience you would need to have. Imagine the kind of dedication and commitment you must have in your boxer to continue to support and motivate him to be resilient, and enthused to keep going until the end of the three matches. ‘The moment you give up, is the moment you let someone else win’. – Anonymous

3.       Coaches/mentors revitalise us to keep going when the going gets tough!

Something else I noticed was that the coaches/mentors were spraying water on the boxers’ faces and body. The reasons? Dwayne’s answer was that it cools the boxers down from their previous round and refreshes them for the next one. Isn’t it true that we get tired and sometimes burn out from our everyday dealings from both business and life? How do we feel when someone gives us a refreshing thought/idea or we spend time with someone that motivates us to keep the momentum going? Well, this is what the spray of water from the coaches/mentors does to the boxers. In terms of personal and business coaches/mentors, while I’ve never seen any spray water on their clients they do use techniques to help rekindle enthusiasm. Remember this kind of action is necessary to motivate and to support you in the moment of setbacks, it’s your raven fan and it will incite you to ‘keep going when the tough gets tougher!’ – W. Churchill.

 

How can a coach/mentor make us raise the bar of our game?

To find out the answer, please ponder over and honestly answer the following questions:

 

Who is the best person to plan and train Muhammed Ali to be on the ring or David Beckham to kick the ball on the football pitch?

                                                             

Have you ever heard of a boxer or a football team without a coach?

Why do the best athletes in the world still have coaches if they are already above their competition?

Let me ask you one more question:

 

Who is the person that always gets recognised by the winners?

 

Isn’t he the coach/mentor? This should make you think about how successful people raise their bar of their game to take themselves to the next level.

Now, here are the two real questions you need to ask yourself:

 

Are you coachable and willing to accept constructive feedback?

Are you willing to do what it takes to move yourself to the next level of success?

If the answers of both questions are positive then it doesn’t matter where you are now in your life journey. If you have any goal or it’s time to step up and raise the bar of your game you will need clarity, a set of actions to follow, the right tools, strategies, techniques and especially a coach, a mentor and a team to accelerate your journey to your next level of success!  J ‘It’s only by doing things others have not that one can advance.’ – George Patton

I take this opportunity to thank from the bottom of my heart, every past and present coach, mentor and everyone who is part of my team as you are very invaluable to my personal and business growth! I will not be where I am today without you as you have all played a big part in my progress :-)

A very special thanks goes to two guys who actually used to be my coaches and I dedicate this related article to them, Tom & Jit. :-) They have really touched my life and allowed me to become the person I am today, ‘they are my life turning point’, I hope I make them smile with this sentence. I have noticed so many of my self-liming beliefs eliminated since working with them. In particular one that was holding me back from writing this very blog! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, words cannot express my gratitude to you both. I will always feel very honoured and privileged to come to know and be coached by both of you and I really miss you. I wish you all the best in life, business and hope that all of your goals become a reality. Jit & Tom, may all the success of this world embrace you to become the best you can ever be! Here are the links to their blogs, I warmly invite you to get in touch with them as both really are very inspirational, talented and special guys with the extra edge of having beautiful smiles :-) and deserve a lot of recognition. Tom’s blog is Springboardyourself.wordpress.com and Jit’s blog is Trader Focus.

What are the reasons to have a coach and a mentor?

 

You’ve got to wake up every morning and ask yourself: ‘How bad do you want it? How much work are you willing to put forth for the things and people you want and need in your life?’ Nothing great comes without effort. But I promise you that if it’s something of great meaning in your heart and something you need in your life…every RISK, every STEP and every DROP of SWEAT will be worth it, I have experienced it so many times in my life. The more energy and effort you put in, the more reward, satisfaction and appreciation you get out! :-)

Are you ready to begin your journey and raise the bar of your game to the next level? Are you ready to make your mark on the world and demonstrate to yourself you were always born to be great? I am ready to help you on your journey to success and would be honoured and privileged to do so. Please do contact me when you have answered this question with a resounding YES!

 

‘Let others lead small lives but not you.

Let others argue over small things but not you.

Let others cry over small hurts but not you.

Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands but not you.’ – Jim Rohn

Remember: you are born unlimited and ready for your greatness. It’s now your time to rise and shine and ignite your brightest spark. It’s time to make your mark and set your wealth and talent free. You were born to shine like the brightest star on the clearest night and now it’s your time to step into the light! :-)

 Well Done, Dwayne!  :-)

If you have any fitness goal to achieve, he is ‘your guy’ and he is waiting for you! :-)

To your success and to raise your game by having your coach and mentor,

Viv :-)

10 Essentials Truths to Take Yourself to the Next Level!

A warm greetings to all of my readers! :-)

Have you been stuck in the same routine for some time and want to take things up a notch?

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get to the next level of your life and your business?

I have been thinking about these questions too. It was during one of my fitness sessions about a month ago, where things started to un-wind. This might have been due to the change of routine I ended up doing with my fitness coach that evening. Usually I train based on what my fitness coach tells me to do and he checks my posture, speed, etc. Instead we actually trained together…we were doing the same exercises at the same time and guys, it was hard to beat him…(we actually finished together but for me this was a win) and it was well worth the effort, aches, pains and muscle burning I experienced in the following days… ‘You always have to be on edge. You always have to take every practice, every game, like it is your last.‘ – Kobe Bryant

You might be thinking, well that’s great Viv, you had a wonderful coaching session but what about getting to the next level in your life and business?

You see, whilst I was training so hard, my ‘little’ brain was working and thinking… The training session acted as my muse for new thoughts and helped me to realise some important learning lessons.

These are the questions I was asking myself during that hour training:

Was I giving as much energy in my life and business as I had done with this fitness coaching session?

Why was it in this session that I decided to push myself the extra mile?

 What do I need to do to get to my next level?

When we ask ourselves questions we automatically go searching for them, and these are my 10 essential truths that came up as answers. Ironically they presented themselves to me in a series of events I happened to attend just last week, as well as yesterday’s fitness coaching session!

1. Work consistently on your Mindset! – Mindset is everything in life, the way we think will affect the way we feel and consequently the actions we will take! Based on this truth, if we want to take different actions, we need to change the way we think! Therefore the real secret of life and business is Psychology to seize every opportunity in life with the positive mindset – ‘Carpe Diem’ has always been my motto since I was 6! 

2Have a coach, a mentor and a team!  – If we want to get to the next level, we need        to be accompanied on our journey by these three characters:

A coach to push us over our limits and believe me we really have no clue what they    actually are. They also provide us with the motivation and the mental metal necessary to carry us through our setbacks.

A mentor provides us with their experience, knowledge and social proof required to move us forward faster.

A team could be a single buddy or a bigger team of people (don’t forget that our coach and our mentor are part of it!). They act as opportunities to share our setbacks, successes and most importantly to celebrate our wins together! Don’t underestimate the power of a team!

3. Invest in yourself and your education!‘An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin. As suggested by the quote, if we want to improve ourselves, we need to invest firstly in us and in our education to avoid pitfalls and recognise opportunities. We also need to have clarity and direction in our life and business to avoid being distracted by the limitless information now available.

4. Get serious about your goals and have fun! – We will make progress only after we commit ourselves and get serious on getting results. If not, setbacks and obstacles will slow us down and cause a lot of frustration! It’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win, have fun and always finish successfully. ‘Make sure that people are having fun. Fun is not about acting stupid. It’s the feeling you get when you’re on top of things.’ – Richard Branson

I had experienced this truth just yesterday, when I approached one of my fitness coaches and told him my fitness goals. He looked at me and asked only one question: ‘How committed are you?’ Believe me, he did not even get to the end of the sentence before I responded that I was very committed and I would do whatever it takes to achieve them! Only in that moment, I knew that now I took my fitness seriously and I would get tangible results! Now I know that I’ll fight for it, I won’t give up, I’ll reach my goals and absolutely nothing will stop me.

5. Be Self-Aware, Honest, Prepared and Keep it Simple! – This is the check-up moment of how much we know ourselves (strengths and weaknesses), how much we are honest with ourselves (I know it’s painful at times but it’s needed to get results and to move forward – ‘no pain no gain’ applies not only in fitness but in our emotional state too) and how much we are prepared to succeed! ‘You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.‘ – Zig Ziglar. Secondly, I never say it enough, simplicity is the key to success! When is the best time to prepare ourselves? An inspirational friend of mine beautifully articulated this very subject in his blog by his personal experience. Read his blog if you want to get inspired and get some very invaluable tips, here his link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/what-successful-people-do-in-first-hour.html.

6. Establish Deadlines and Accountability! – I speak from personal experience, I’m a deadline person. I work on numerous projects at the same time and I found that what makes me successful is that I have deadlines to meet. This means I have no choice but to get things done by setting crystal clear goals, raising the bar, setting up my game and embracing a take-no-prisoners attitude. Also I need to be accountable to someone else externally to get the job done! Having coached a lot of entrepreneurs and people, it is clear that those whom hold the greatest accountability to me with strict deadlines, achieve the greatest results. Guess what I’m known as now? ‘The Accountability Coach!’.

7. Acquire the 3 C’s to Results: Confidence, Consistency and Commitment! – I believe these skills are very clear and go hand in hand. When we are confident and committed to achieve our goals, we are consistent in our actions and approaches to life and business.

8. Employ the  7 D’s to Success: Discipline, Drive, Delegation, Direction, Decisiveness, Determination and Dedication! – These feed from each other and need to be used all together to get to the next level. When we have direction of what we want to do, it will provide us with the drive, decisiveness and determination to succeed in achieving our goals. Discipline ensures we stick to our plan. Dedication enables us to get motivated during our setbacks and delegation enables us to accelerate our results and to focus on our priority tasks.

9. Have Reliable Social Proof! – It is essential to provide us with the certainty that our goal can be achieved. Take for example marathon runners and the time they employ to run one! They show us that it is possible!

10. Review your progress and your success with your Coach! – Honestly speaking, there is a huge difference between reviewing our results by ourselves and with a coach. We can find any justification to take specific course of action and achieving certain results but when we review our progress with a coach, he/she will challenge our reasons and unveil our excuses to make us move forward faster…these are not the only benefits. Knowing that someone will check on our results will intensify our commitment and accountability and strengthen our focus and motivation to stick to our plan. If you don’t believe me, you have to experience it! :-)

I just gave a quick summary of each of the essential truths that will take you to the next level in your life and business. In the weeks to come I will be breaking each step down in further articles that will help enhance your knowledge and ability to implement them into your life. Keep this quote in mind ‘You were given this life, because you are strong enough to live it!‘ – Unknown. So if you are ready to bring yourself to new levels of success watch this space!

Remember: ‘Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit!‘ and ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

‘If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.’ – Martin Luther King Jr

Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results. ‘Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.‘ – Robert Collier

Today, I want you to ask yourself these questions: ‘Why not you?’ Why not you to do something that you love? Why not you to have a healthy body? Why not you to be, have or do anything you have ever dreamed? We are so quick to think others are deserving over ourselves. So why not you to take it to your next level? The true is that we are all deserving and we owe it to ourselves! :-)

Are you NOW ready to take up the challenge to take yourself to the next level?

It’s up to you to take up the challenge to take it to your next level and to share it with me as I am super ready! :-)

To your achievement to the next level!

Viv :-)

8 Benefits to finish the year Successfully!

A warm greeting to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :-)

My previous article covered the 10 strategies to finish the year successfully. I have received a lot of positive feedback and I am glad that it has been useful to many of you. If you haven’t read it yet I do invite you to do so by clicking on this link: https://catalystinspiration.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/433/. It will provide you with the practical tips to achieve your goals. As always you need to implement them into your life if you want to see the results.

A question that I was actually pondering on for a while was the following:

What are the benefits of finishing the year successfully?

When faced with setbacks, understanding why we have chosen a certain course of action will help act as an internal driver and motivate us to keep going. If we don’t understand the reason and above all the benefits of having a successful ending of the year, we will not apply any of the strategies that I have suggested last week.

Let’s examine the benefits in more detail to eliminate any remaining excuses that might be holding us back from implementing the strategies suggested.

Let’s ensure we finish the year successfully!

1. Fixed Deadlines. Having a fixed non-negotiable deadline makes us watch how we use our time. Knowing that the clock is ticking is one of the best motivators for taking action. It represents our Commitment, reinforces our Accountability and creates a Sense of Urgency!

2. Chance for redemption. If we are below target and our back is against the wall, it will provide us with a last chance for redemption. Look at this as comeback time! If we are below target, I suggest to GET MAD! Pain, failure, loss and embarrassment are such great motivators. You should allow adversity to force your hand to make new choices and take new actions. Use the pain as fuel that drives your comeback. It will become the fuel that perpetuates your current situation. ‘A Champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.’ – Jack Dempsey

3. Set an Inspiring Example. Our performance could be seen as the sad consequence of neglect, poor character, lack of direction and ambition or it could be an inspiring example of talent put to use in the intense pursuit of clearly defined year-end goals. To reinforce this subject, I invite you to read a post of one of my inspiring friends. Here his blog link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/the-only-source-of-knowledge-is.html.

4. Build Momentum for the New Year. This is one of the smartest things we can do as it provides a powerful platform for a fast start from January next year.

5. Intensifies our Focus. Knowing that both options and time are diminishing assets. Our ability to focus on high pay-off activities becomes an obvious priority for securing a successful finish to the year.

6. Close Execution Gaps. This is the opportunity to close the gap between the goals we planned for ourselves at the start of the year and the actual results we have achieved to date.

 7. Character Defining Moment. Our ability to finish the year by achieving our goals is all about character. It’s about turning a flashlight to our soul to inspect ourselves for will, courage, conviction and pride. To see what we are really made of. Don’t wait for life to hand you things, anything worth having is worth fighting for! ‘Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life’Sylvester Stallone

8. Throw Down a Challenge. There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned challenge to test our limits, is there? Exceed quotas and expectations to keep our teeth sharp and see how far we can go by finishing this year successfully. ‘Life is meant to be a challenge, because challenges are what make you grow.’ – Manny Pacquiao. To emphases this benefit, my dear bro wrote an article on how having a positive mindset will bring positive results even though challenges are along the way. Enjoy reading his real life article by clicking on his link: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/attitude-trumps-aptitude/.

Did I take you by surprised with the reasons listed above? I hope not and at the same time, I hope I gave you enough good reasons to make the decision to review your goals set at the beginning of the year. Now that you know them, it’s your call for action and you know that only you can do what’s needed to be done to achieve them, nobody else can live your life for you. This is the gift of life so treasure it and live it to the fullest! :-)

How far away are you from your intended targets?

Take action now and close the gap by creating a specific set of tasks for us to complete with non-negotiable deadlines….it won’t take much time before we start seeing amazing results as any task and goal takes as much time as we allow it to take. We will be constantly challenged to perform and expected to complete tasks and activities on deadline. The discipline of deadline enforcement ensures rapid and ongoing goal achievement. This is why we will be putting these 8 powerful strategic benefits to good use. Do the work necessary to finish the year successfully. Remember that ‘if you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.‘ – Michael Jordan

If we focus on problems, we’ll have more problems. When we focus on possibilities, we’ll have more opportunities. ‘Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.’ – Michael Jordan

There will never be a day that does not require dedication, discipline, good judgment, physical vitality and the opportunity for improvement. Each and every day provides you with the opportunity to get better, to stand out, to answer the call, to prove your greatness and demonstrate excellence to each and every turn. As a result ensure everything you do counts as it does! :-)

To your successful achievements!

Viv :-)

10 Strategies to finish the year Successfully!

A warm greetings to all my readers,

Hope this article finds you well! :)

On the 21st of September, autumn officially started along with the 101 day count down to the end of the year…and as such to ensure I finish strong, on the 22nd of September I decided to enrol onto a 100 day challenge. As I knew that I needed some extra help, I got an accountability coach for myself to ensure that I completed all my goals for this year as I am falling behind at the moment! :)

What are the reasons of finishing the year successfully?

If you think about it, more than 265 days of this year are already gone. Time is ticking, so the key thing we need to do right now is to focus on our current year-to-date results. If you are at present below target as I am or unhappy with your individual year to-date performance, you must consider the remaining 100 days as a now-or-never opportunity to redeem yourself by finishing this year successfully.

What exactly do I mean by finishing successfully?

This is the same as the mentality a distance runner uses as they sprint to the finishing line, a salesperson who crushes the last quarter to exceed their annual quote and a football team closing the season with conviction to make the playoffs. These final days is when you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. This will provide you with the motivation and justification to rise up while your competition is most likely winding down.

 

What specific steps or strategies can you deploy in order to secure a successful year-end finish?

I will share with you the 10 simple highly effective and empowering strategies to step up the quality and intensity of our efforts that I have been given during the 100 days challenge! By implementing these strategies, we will accelerate our performance, drive massive results and finish the year strong!

Let’s crack on then…

STRATEGY # 1 GET SERIOUS

With a finite period of time breathing down our neck, we have no choice but to get serious, set crystal clear goals, raise the bar, set up our game and embrace a take-no-prisoners attitude. We will make rapid progress towards our goals only after we decide to get serious about getting results. It’s not a secret that serious professionals play to win and always finish successfully.

STRATEGY # 2 START SAYING NO

This is going to be my hardest strategy to employ as ‘NO’ has never been part of my vocabulary so I have to learn how to say it…Apparently ‘NO’ is the most powerful word in our vocabulary as it’s the easiest word for setting a limit, holding firm to boundaries and being clear about what you will or will not do for these last days of the year. We will be more productive and effective once we recognise that learning to say ‘NO’ is liberating as it frees up our time and energy to focus on our key priorities and wildest ambitions. It increases the value of the things we can say ‘YES’ to. Success demands a short YES list and a long NO list, yet most people have that one reverse engineered

STRATEGY # 3 ACT BOLDLY

In a 100 day sprint, there’s no time for indecision, doubt, excuses, blaming or procrastination. We cannot allow any of these self-destructive behavioural traits to perpetuate. Our finest hour will not come from a weak, wimpy nor a half-hearted effort. Go big, go bold or go home!

STRATEGY # 4 SET CHALLENGING DEADLINES

We work our best under a self-determined or externally fixed deadline for achieving our goals. You may ask: What is the reason behind this? Well, it’s simple. Any task, project or goal takes as much time as we allow for it to take. By setting non-negotiable, challenging deadlines which drive us to deliver the results, we are virtually guaranteed big and consistent wins right through the close of the year.

STRATEGY # 5 CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY

To achieve our goals and to finish the year successfully, we need a flame under our behind which ignites a performance explosion. We must take massive action every day and develop a sense of urgency and importance about what we are doing. Urgency to the extent that getting results and achieving our goals is a matter of life or death.

STRATEGY # 6 SPEED THINGS UP

The old rules no longer apply. It’s not the big that eats the small but it’s the fast that eats the slow. The key to rapid, ongoing and transformational results is to recognise the power of increasing the speed of everything we do. Make this our primary weapon for finishing the year successfully.

STRATEGY # 7 REFUSE TO GIVE UP

Those with the character to do what it takes to finish the year successfully tend not to allow the indignity of a poor year-to-date performance to keep them down. A comeback accepts disaster, laughs in its face and crawls to his feet again. When we are down or below target other people will write us off. Do not let them define you – maintain your dignity and refuse to give up! Keep going until you achieve your goals as the moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens. Don’t give up!

STRATEGY # 8 BE PERSISTENT

By choosing to be persistent, we are demonstrating no abatement of severity, intensity, strength or peace nor are we softening or yielding in determination. Finishing the year successfully necessitates that we fight on with undying, relentless determination. The rewards for those who are unyielding in their pursuit of a successful finish far exceed the pain that must precede the victory. When you get to the point where anyone else would quit, don’t stop – keep going!

STRATEGY # 9 BE A DRIVEN PERSON

The goal of finishing the year successfully can only be achieved by driven people motivated by high expectations. We must become driven in what we expect from ourselves and in the demands we make on others. The only way to create big, bold, breakthrough year-end results is to take the less travelled road. Set goals and plans that are unreasonable – and go for it!

STRATEGY # 10 MAKE EVERYTHING COUNT

As we work towards the goal of finishing the year successfully, we must understand that there will never be a day that will not require drive, dedication, discipline, perseverance and accountability. Regardless of our year-to-date results, you and I know that no matter how good or bad they have been…we can always do better – much better and push our limits higher! :)

Each and every day provides us with the opportunity to get better, to stand out, to answer our call, to prove our greatness and demonstrate excellence to each and every turn. Therefore make sure everything you do counts, as it does! :)

Don’t give up on this year’s goal achievements, start NOW to apply the 10 strategies above and make every day count knowing that you CAN do it – it’s about effort. When you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens and that’s how change and results occur! J ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.‘ – Nelson Mandela

To your successful achievements!

Viv :)

Fitness, Olympics and Paralympics: How to Keep the Momentum Going

I hope my article finds you well :)

It’s about three weeks since the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. How do you feel? Some of us may feel sad as it was entertaining to watch them and at the same time motivating and inspiring. But the real questions to ask ourselves are:

What now then?

Have you been motivated and inspired to keep the Olympics and Paralympics momentum going?

If you are not sure about the meaning of the word momentum, here is the wonderfully “academic” dictionary definition, p = mv where the momentum (p) is the product of the mass (weight) and the velocity (speed) of an object. Hah! I am guessing that this is not the definition you were expecting. Well believe it or not the formula is actually applicable to the Olympics and Paralympics…

Let me explain.

In life to keep the momentum going, we can apply the same formula as following:

p (momentum) = m (drive) * v (speed = rate of change) where the momentum is given by the drive to achieve your goal multiplied by the rate of change from where you are now (A) to where you want to be (B). Therefore in order to have the greatest momentum you need to have a high amount of drive to achieve your goals, and ensure that you follow this up with the speed of your actions to move you from where you are now (A) to what you want to achieve (B) (goal/success).

The key is taking prompt actions whilst you are driven by your motivation!

To make it personal to you, think about when you attended a self-development course or seminar.  After it finished did you just carry on with your everyday life? You have learnt new techniques, skills and acquired more information to improve the quality of your life. However if you do not put any of these into practice you will not make any changes in your life.

The secret is to Take Action. This is the actual doing part and what I call the great pitfall where many dreams, goals and ambitions die. Anyone can start but very few finish. Many people can take action once, twice or may even keep going for a few months but eventually they die out. It frustrates me when I would enter a new challenge and I will see the competition leap out in front and get off to a faster and more successful start. Then I found the single discipline that gives me the extra edge to beat anybody at almost anything, and that’s CONSISTENCY.

A lot of people become enthusiastic about new goals or achievements, and they charge out of the gate in an explosion of activity—but their intensity and commitment quickly crackle. Meanwhile, those who begin the journey with less flash but a greater commitment to consistency eventually catch up to their flamboyant peers and leave them in the dust. Do what most people don’t: Stay consistent.

We will explore the concept of CONSISTENCY further in my next article, so stay tuned! J

I hope this article was not too much of a lecture and scientifically orientated. I really enjoyed writing it especially because it brought me back to my physics lectures in school. Those were the best times of my life!

‘Take a look at what you have. 
Think of all you did to get it.
Remember it takes only one second to lose everything so treasure it!’
~ Viv

So think about how much progress you have made so far and what you have done to achieve it…think about all the time and efforts spent doing exercises, running, sweating, etc. Think about what you have already sacrificed to get where you are, cakes, sweets, crisps, social events, etc…Was it worth it? It was for me and I am sure it was for you too! …Think also that you will lose all of your achievements, if you decide to give up now, please keep the momentum going, you owe it to yourself!

“You cannot strike fire from flint if you stop halfway” ~ Nichiren Daishonin

You know that you have the power and the control to do it! So, keep the momentum going to achieve your goals and you will be celebrating the body, the fitness level and the healthy lifestyle you have always dreamed of! It is possible and you have demonstrated this to be true over the past few months. With strong determination and dedication success will follow! After all, “It’s easier to wake up early and work out than it is to look in the mirror each day and not like what you see.” ~ Jayne Cox

 

So, what choice are you going to make? Will you see obstacles or opportunity? Will you give up or keep the momentum going?

……. and while you carefully make your life changing choice, think about this as a final question:

Why will you succeed?

‘I succeed because I am willing to do the things others are not. I will fight against the odds. I will sacrifice. I am not shackled by fear, insecurity or doubt. I feel those emotions — drink them in and then swallow them away to the blackness of hell. I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride. Pride consumes the weak — kills their heart from within. If I fall — I will get up. If I am beaten — I will return. I will never stop getting better. I will never give up –ever. This is why I succeed!’ – Unknown

Remember that nothing worth having comes easy, enjoy the process! Knowing that this takes time, just be committed to doing your best every day! So you need to keep your goals, your prospective and your eyes on your objective. Life is what you make itSituations are how you take it…‎”Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.” 
– Herbert Otto

 

To keeping your Momentum going!

Viv :)

Fitness: Olympics & Paralympics: What is NOW your next step?

A warm greetings to all my readers, :)

I am certain that the Olympics and Paralympics have kept many of us busy watching attentively on TV or for the fortunate, in live events.

How do you feel about these past events?

I am sure that there will be a variety of feelings across the board regarding the Games. In fact, in my previous articles, I have written about both events. I can definitely summarise my own takeaways from each. The Olympics have provided me with the motivation to keep pushing me on with my health and fitness plan. The Paralympics on the other hand has inspired me to use all of my potential to achieve my goals. ­­Have they had the same influence on your life? I would love to read your own thoughts so let me know in the comments below.

Below are the links to my previous articles on these subjects in case you have missed to read any:

Fitness how much can you tell from appearance

Fitness 10 ways to keep your motivation to exercise

Fitness vivs 8 hot proven tips to keep your motivation foolproof part 1

Fitness vivs hot proven tips to keep your motivation foolproof part 2

Paralympics inspiration how to turn from ordinary to extraordinary

 

What is NOW your next step then?

I hope you agree with me that things just don’t happen out of the blue, well sometimes they do but most of the time they don’t…which means that to make things happen we need to take full responsibility and control over our lives …Thinking alone without ACTION will not take you anywhere and will not work! Speaking with many, I have noticed that only when people prepare, they achieve the desired results and goals.

What about you?

What is your next step to achieve your goals?

What actions have you already put into place?

What resources have you got to take you nearer to achieving your goal?

What obstacles do you need to conquer in the way?

What rewards are in place to celebrate your achievements?

What punishments are in place to stop you from deviate from achieving your goal and stick to your action plan?

The above were a few questions that I have asked myself after the Paralympics closing ceremony last Sunday. This was done entirely to ensure that I was prepared not only physically but more importantly mentally and emotionally to keep the momentum going. ‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how! ~ Fredrick Nietzsche. I personally want to make these events a milestone in my life to be memorable and to be remembered not only because they took place in my beautiful London but above all because they left a personal and special impact on my life to enable me to be motivated and inspired to take actions to be a better me and to improve the quality of my life and others.

 

What impact did the Olympic and Paralympic Games have on you?

What actions did you take as a result of the motivation and inspiration of the Games?

What changes did you make as a result of the motivation and inspiration of these Games?

Did they impact your life in a personal way?  If this is the case, how can they be memorable for you to leave a legacy in your future generation?

Only if you answer honestly to the above questions, you will know if they have been memorable and left a mark in your life! Remember, it is never too late to get started! :) Even if others give up on you, never give up on yourself. You hold the strength, power and determination to thrive and you owe it to yourself!

Just remember that the most dangerous risk of all in life is spending it not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later! As if you really want to do something, you will find a way, if you don’t, you will find an excuse! ‘Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue you will change. Don’t let it stop you from being who you can be. Exhaustion tells you when you ought to stop. You only reach your limit when you can go no further‘ ~ Kobe

 

Make the athletes you have seen during the games proud of their achievements. Be inspired and motivated to do what you want to do in life and achieve it to the highest of your ability!  Sir Richard Branson: ‘There is no greater thing you can do with your life and your work than follow your passions in a way that serves the world and you!’.

You know that it is only what you are going to do after you read this article that can make a difference in your life. You need to take action now and keep the Olympic and Paralympic momentum going! :)

As you know, I started to write these articles to inspire people to achieve their goals. I have had some awesome and fantastic feedback on how individuals are inspired and it continues to motivate me to continue writing. I would love to increase my reach so if you feel someone you know could benefit please send them my link and get them to add their email address on the bottom right hand corner of the screen so that they are notified every time I post a new blog. I also would love to share your success stories!

To your continued Success!

Viv :)

Paralympics inspiration: How to turn from ordinary to extraordinary

Hope my article finds you all well! :)

Yesterday, I had the chance to watch the Paralympics as I waited to be seen by someone for a meeting. I was so inspired by it! Usually when you have to speak to someone and you wait for months to have an appointment, you feel a bit uncomfortable especially the waiting time from your arrival in their premises to the time you will be speaking and I can tell you that I had to wait for nearly 5 hours, now I know why they say that ‘Patience is a virtue’ which obviously I don’t have. Watching the Paralympics made the time fly by, it’s  rare I’m sitting in front of the screen that long, in fact I could not remember the last time it happened! The two games on yesterday afternoon were basketball and tennis. Both were played by players on wheelchairs. Watching them play sprang some important questions to mind:

What would I have done if I lost the use of my legs, my arms or any other part of my body?

How would I use my day and my time?

What mind-set would I be in? Positive or negative? Would I be looking for opportunity for me to excel or opportunity for me to blame others for my condition?

What would I have accomplished in my life if I was disabled?

I have to admit that these were quite deep questions to be asking myself, especially before an important meeting. The time spent in reflection actually allowed me to put things into perspective and calmed me down… A strange feeling for me as I’m usually in the state of controlled panic or fear, as I’m always pushing myself out of my comfort zone…

Do you want to find out how my meeting went? Well honestly speaking, I was too relaxed for a meeting it was nearly like we were paly paly mates and some weird subjects came out from the conversation (don’t think wrongly, it was just strange and unexpected to be speaking about my bro in that meeting!). Obviously I did not give my 100% but I believe that there is a reason for everything that happens in life and therefore I will happily invite the result of this one soon enough! :)

The most amazing thing that I have noticed while watching the Paralympics is their use of skills and talents to win the games even if these are different from what people usually expect i.e. I have always been told that I was too short to become a good basketball player during my school years (good thing I did not listen to them, as even if they were right about my height I compensated this gap with my running skills :)). The players in the these games are not just disadvantaged by their height but many other setbacks too. How do they still play exceptionally well and achieve this level of athleticism? I’m sure many people who see athletes or other successful types achieving great accomplishments immediately believe it all must be down to natural talent. Is this really the case? In my opinion I believe this is the biggest excuse we can tell ourselves when we don’t want to face our own challenges. Think about it, how is it possible for them to be naturally talented given that some will have become disabled along the way. Some also have only been competing for the last few years. Natural talent cannot be the only determining factor here.

What is their secret?

The true reality is that they have a very strong mind-set and mental metal of not wanting to give up life and their goals… just imagine for a second you were training for sport at the highest level, then life hits you hard with a serious injury. Most would give in, imagine playing tennis with no legs? Not for these athletes, they won’t let life take the best of them and ensure that they stay in control. They work hard to be the best and do the best with what they have. Determination, discipline and dedication is what really makes these people achievers in life!

So ask yourself the question:

Are you giving yourself the excuse that you don’t possess any natural talent or do you believe you can get what you want by applying the Paralympic do or die mind-set?

I have to admit that often people tell me that I am special. That I was born talented. However I see myself as ordinary with no talents in any area of my life. I have always just tried hard at everything I do, it reminds me of this quote I recently found, “I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. You know. While the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy is eating, I’m working.“~ Will Smith. I fully agree with this quote as most of the successful people that I know, myself included don’t see ourselves as talented but instead hard working. All successes, I have personally achieved until now are due to perseverance, determination, dedication, commitment, hard work, a strong mental metal of not giving up, and finally making it all happen by taking prompt actions! There’s nothing special about me just a lot of determination and persistency to achieve my goals by acquiring the skills I need to fulfil them! That’s not a secret, is it? Last week, I have mentioned and included an article written by a very inspirational friend of my bros. It’s all about this subject and if you have not read it yet, you will certainly be blown away. :) Here is the link: What Does Rocky and a Trader Have in Common?

A few questions at this moment come to mind I wish to share with you:

What about us? What are the excuses we are telling ourselves to sabotage our success?

Are we giving in to what the stereotype world dictate we need to be to become successful and accomplished?

Do we tolerate and become influenced by other people’s opinions of what we should or shouldn’t do to achieve our goals and live our lives to the fullest?

Are we playing our life games according to other people’s rules and expectations?

Are we really using all of our skills and talents to play out our life to the fullest?

It saddens me to see in reality most of our abilities, skills and talents all end up unexploited. We spend our life contemplating what we wish for and we spend even more time dreaming of it whilst telling ourselves so many excuses why we can’t get the life we envision in our mind. To be honest, most of us are not prepared to live outside our comfort zone and put the hard work and dedication to achieving our goals. If you really want to live to your potential don’t wish for it work for it! On this note, my bro just wrote an article on the benefits of making mistakes. I invite you to read it. Here is the link: If You Are Not Making Mistakes Try Harder. It is funny that I had a conversation with him yesterday with not an happy ending and I wasn’t expecting he was going to write an article on making mistakes! I guess and I hope in this case, my bro is prepared to forgive or understand me as I make so many mistakes with him and add to his life a bit of spicy to make him feel uncomfortable as he likes it. :) As he wrote on his blog: ‘Successful people are always pushing themselves outside their comfort zone in order to progress. Inevitably, working at this high level, we are prone to mistakes. However as I have mentioned before, mistakes are a wonderful way, perhaps the only way, to learn, evolve and develop. So if you are not making mistakes, and living in your comfort zone then you simply need to push yourself harder. A clear sign that you are building the right mindset for success is that you should ironically become uncomfortable being comfortable. I go stir crazy when my life is comfortable. This drives me to taking on more challenging projects, pushing myself further and further outside my comfort zone and never settling for average.’

Watching the Paralympics, definitely opened up new perspectives to me! Watching these athletes made me think all of them are winners and I hope you agree with me that all of them deserve a gold medal for their incredible and amazing mind-set to overcome what life throws at them. They most certainly have gone from ordinary to extraordinary!

 

‘Next time you’re stressed, take a step back, inhale and laugh. Remember who you are and why you’re here. You’re never given anything in this world that you can’t handle. Be strong, be flexible, love yourself and love others. Always remember, just keep moving forward.’

 

‘Will you look back in life and say: ‘I wish I had’ or ‘I’m glad I did’?’ – Zig Ziglar

To being inspired in taking action now to achieve your successes!

Viv :)

What are your learning curves from the past months? Part 2

A very good morning to all my readers,

I want to open my article with a big THANK you to all of you and for your wonderful feedback, emails and texts received over the past months. They were really encouraging and I felt uplifted, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Also a big THANKS for reading my bro’s blog, it made a really great surprise for his special day!  :-)

As you can recognise from the title, it is time again for reflection!

How are you doing with achieving your goals set last January? Are you on track, behind or ahead?

It’s good sometimes to do a revision exercise to analyse where we are in life, where we want to be and what steps will take us there! It’s important to ensure that we obtain what we really want in life and don’t settle for less!!! Maybe for some of you, it’s action time! It’s definitely for me, I have realised that this year has been a very different one from my previous ones! I can describe it with only one word: WAITING! A quote that summaries this concept well is this one: ‘We only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have and the decisions we waited too long to make’. That is so true! Every goal that I have not yet achieved this year has only one common denominator: I was waiting for someone (sadly it was the same person all the time) or for the perfect occasion (again the same person was involved)! To be honest, I am quite annoyed with myself! Now that I am aware of what has slowed me down from achieving my goals I can overcome it!

I will share with you what I have personally learnt in the last four months. Please feel free to comment and to share your own lessons too! :-)

Before I start, please take your time to answer the questions below, don’t rush and above all be honest with yourself if you want to achieve personal growth and become a better you!  This is one of the most important times you can dedicate to achieving your goals and ultimately your life successes! Once you have discovered your lessons, please feel free to compare them with mine…let me know how many we have in common, I would love to share your journey…

Ready to answer these questions?

What have you learned from your past months?

What lessons did you gather?

How did you benefit from them?

What could you have changed to improve your performance and results?

What three actions can you take to get nearer to your goal and be successful?

Now that you have gathered your lessons, please read what I have learned…Don’t forget to compare it and let me know how many we have in common…

Here are my learning pointers for the past months:

Stay focused:  we live in a world where we are bombarded by information, knowledge, adverts, etc and as far as all these are useful advantages to our life in the long run, if left unchecked, they become a distraction. As an example I was coaching someone a few weeks ago and we were working on time management (this is recently becoming a regular topic in my coaching sessions). When I asked what was using the majority of the client’s time, the response was surfing the internet. You research one topic and suddenly you start surfing ten other ones connected to it! Clearly this demonstrates that we need to focus on our goals to achieve them. There are so many things that can easily distract us especially if we have short attention spans!

A great way to visualise focus is to think of horse blinkers. The flaps that prevent the horse from looking anywhere but straight ahead. It’s important we learn to use our own blinkers to keep us focused on a day to day basis, and I’m not talking literally!

What takes most of your time during the day or week?

What are your eye blinkers to keep you focused?

What actions can you take to help you stay focused on your goals?

The honest answers to the questions above, will speed up your progress in achieving your goals and your successes!

Unwavering Clarity & Self-Awareness: the more I self-reflect the more I realise how much I owe my success primary to my clarity in what I wanted to do in my life. Since the age of 6 I have had a vision and dreams of where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. It is so amazing to see them all come to reality. This was all the result of focus and determination to keep going even when others were obstructing me. I believe the most difficult lesson was to be disciplined, you see I always go for what people dared not to do. Every time someone tells me “this task will be very difficult to master,” these are the magic words to make me want to take it on! Yes, challenges are what make me accomplish my goals and plans!

What is your activator bar?

What makes you act no matter how big the goal is?

This is one of your strengths, if you have self-awareness of who you are, you can use it to your advantage. For example when you do not feel motivated to do something, you can change your mind-set and perceive things in a way that will encourage you to take action. This is a very powerful tool and technique to know!

How can you acquire more clarity and self-awareness?

 

What are your values and beliefs?

 

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What are the reasons of making your choices and decisions in your life?

Are you making a conscious decision or an unconscious reaction?

 

The honest answers to the above questions will provide you with a better understanding of who you are and what you want from your life. Consequently you will take action accordingly to achieve your goals and your success! Just remember that your happiness and success in life comes from clarity as to who you are. As you become more aware of yourself and feel more comfortable in your own skin, other people will be drawn to you and bring you greater opportunity!

For more details, see my previous articles on Ready to find your light bulb, Ready for your SWOT analysis and The 3’C’s in Succcess! Here are the links:

Ready To Find Your Light Bulb moment?

Ready For Your Swot Analysis?

The 3 ‘C’s in Succcess,

 

Confidence: you need to have a certain degree of confidence to achieve your goals and become successful. Without it you will find it difficult to take action and move forward. To back up this point, I have coached numerous people and believe me the common denominator of not taking action was lack of confidence. Is it true that if you don’t believe in someone and/or in a strategy as human beings we won’t take any action? Think about your everyday life i.e. where do you buy your clothes? your shoes? where do you take your things for repair? who do you choose to make business with? Is it not someone who you really trust and have proven worthy of our confidence? I am sure you agree with me!

What does it mean to be a confident person?

What does having a lack of confidence cost you on a daily basis?

How can we increase our level of confidence firstly in ourselves and in others?

What actions can you take to boost your confidence?

To understand the importance of having confidence, I came across this inspiring quote:

“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.” ~ Stan Smith

Even if we’re reasonably assured most of the time, it is beneficial to do a little mental strengthening check up every now and then. It feels good to be confident, which in turn perpetuates further confidence, impresses people and brings you success.

 

In my previous articles, I have shared 5 ways to increase your confidence which are: Get to know who we are and what we want out of life, face our fears, prepare, take action and realise that failure or being wrong would not harm you. For more details, please read my articles On Becoming Unstoppable & Becoming Unstoppable Part 2! Here are the two links:

 

Becoming Unstoppable

Becoming Unstoppable Part 2

 

Consistent preparation and developing a Positive Mind-set: “One important key to success is confidence. An important key to confidence is preparation.”  ~ Arthur Ashe “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

 

Have you ever experienced the situation where you are undertaking something new and noticed how you very quickly get lost in thoughts and actions?

You start building ‘what if’ scenarios in your mind of what may happen.

Definitely, preparing and educating ourselves can be a big help in making a huge difference in our confidence levels but we need to take the time to prepare ourselves. Obviously, this is more work than not doing anything about it. For example by rehearsing and rewriting our speech over and over again, we can learn it by heart. By doing research we can find breathing techniques that can quickly make us calmer and more confident as we deliver our speech.

Preparation is the key to feeling more comfortable and confident. Just don’t make the mistake of getting stuck in the preparation phase and using it as a way to avoid taking action and the possible pain that it may lead to. As for me, I knew that if I wanted to be successful I needed to be prepared for any eventuality, ensuring that I didn’t miss out on any opportunities! This is the hardest skill to work on as we often prepare based on previous knowledge of people, situations, events, etc. but sometimes there is the surprise effect – something unexpected comes up and we ask ourselves questions such as: What do I do now? What do I say?

 

How can you prepare for it?

What is the best behaviour in surprise effect situations?

What provides you with the best edge?

Not an easy scenario to face is it? Sometimes, because we are not prepared for unexpected situations, we miss out on big opportunity in life! In order to have an edge we need to ensure that we prepare for the predictable and do our best when things get impulsive. Our confidence will grow overtime and we will learn to keep it cool even when we don’t know who we may meet or what might happen next.

Regarding having a positive mind-set that is a must! I have a very strong passion for mind-set and psychology, and so both are subjects I often like to talk about. I am a strong believer that your mind-set counts for more than 90%, if not 100% of life’s successes, in any field. If you don’t have the right state of mind and positivity, even a success could turn into a failure. I am sure that you know what I am talking about, as all of us have experienced it. We believe what we tell ourselves and it will make a huge difference when we focus on having a positive mind-set! We end up seeing opportunities where others see difficulties!

When faced with a challenging situation ask yourself the following questions to ensure you have a positive mind-set:

How can I benefit from this event, circumstance or occasion?

How can I use this event to my advantage?

What did I learn from it that will assist me for the better?

Exercise and healthy lifestyle: I learned this lesson at the expense of my own health. I have to admit that I have to thank my dear bro as he is an avid fan of the gym! So I could not stand the fact that he is so fit and healthy and I was not. Out of a challenge with myself, I decided that if he could be, I could be too.  Without any hesitation knowing that with hard work, determination, disciplined and persistence, I would be able to achieve my fitness goal, to be fit and toned! I felt like I went through an education program on how, what and when to eat, how to exercise, what muscles to exercise, what type of exercise to follow based on different needs, etc. I have to admit that I felt so ignorant when I first started and I often asked myself the reason why people do not know all this information. It was then that I realised how all this information can end up being contradictory, there is literally so many different opinions on the subject! I consider myself quite fortunate to have surrounded myself with qualified fitness individuals/coaches that were willing to share their information with me and above all help me understand what type of nutrition and exercises were the most effective for my objective. A big thank you to all of you and above all to my bro who got me started!  (just to say that he has a degree in Science)…I felt like Tommy was my dad when he was patiently and lovingly providing me with the answers to my questions and the tips on how to improve my performance! Thank you, much appreciated, Bro! :-)

So I learnt how important it is to exercise, eat healthy and sleep enough to be at the peak of your performance! Your body will appreciate it if you only listened to it!!! For more details, see my articles on fitness: How much can you tell from appearance? 10 ways to keep your motivation to exercise, and Viv’s hot proven tips to keep your motivation fool-proof! Part 1 and Part 2. Here are the links:

Fitness: How Much Can You Tell From Appearance?

Fitness 10 Ways to Keep Your Motivation to Exercise?

Fitness Vivs 8 Hot Proven Tips to Keep Your Motivation Foolproof Part 1

Fitness Vivs 8 Hot Proven Tips to Keep Your Motivation Foolproof Part 2

 

Skills of leverage & delegation: Another important lesson was when I learnt the true meaning of the words delegation and leverage! What a relief it was! Even until now, I can’t believe how much I could have accomplished if I had learnt to delegate and leverage earlier in my life. This is particularly true when I was working in the corporate world! Later is better than never as some say! What stopped me was something called perfectionism, some of you may have experienced it! Only when you realise that perfection is relative and not absolute, will you start to delegate  others. Obviously if your standards are high, at the beginning everything will appear less than adequate to you. However, I can guarantee that one day, someone will impress you with their job and you will start to delegate more and more. You will understand how much time, resources and efforts you will save!

A very recent lesson that I learnt is regarding networking! Let’s just say that it is not my cup of tea! Most people that know me may be surprised to read this, as I am always at events, smiling and engaging everyone I meet!  The lesson that I learnt was that people usually go to networking events to find potential clients for their business by collecting as many contacts as possible, I do not! I usually leave with a maximum of two or three business cards of people that I have spent most of the time talking to! So when we contact each other we will already have good memory of who the other person is and what we spoke about. This way we have a lower chance of mixing people up and ending up getting embarrassed. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? I believe that quality is more important than quantity! Another reason is that I do not look for clients during the events but I look for potential joint ventures instead. This works to help leverage each other strengths, time and resources! It also helps you gain some support and guidance from influent people during your journey. Clever idea, isn’t it?

See my article on 5 Steps to Effective Delegation for more details. Here is the link:

5 Steps to Effective Delegation

Surround yourself with a positive circle of influence and role models to learn from: here comes the beautiful concept of modelling. This is an NLP concept that is vastly well known. You need to learn from others who have walked the path before you, it is called ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’. Modelling is highly valued and it makes sense to copy someone who has already achieved what we want to accomplish as I did with my dear Bro! This allows us to achieve our success in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

Who are the people who have already achieved this result in the past?

How can you model them to the best of your abilities?

How can you establish a relationship with your role models?

How can you add value to them?

To have role models will add a new dimension to your life, you will see faster results with the minimum use of your resources as you learn to work in the smartest way possible! I can definitely guarantee this! Obviously to keep the momentum going, you need to surround yourself with a positive circle of influence such as like minded individuals who share the same goals and aspirations as you do. This means that when you are facing tough challenges, they will be there to raise your spirits and encourage you to keep going.

For more details see my articles on Circle of Influence: ‘What does it tell you about yourself’ & ‘How does it affect your life’. Here are the links:

Your Circle of Influence What Does it Tell You About Yourself?

Your Circle of Influence How Does it Affect Your Life?

Above are my main lessons that I have learnt in the past months. To be honest, when I sat down to write this article, I could not think of anything of value I could give to you. For some reason which I am still not sure about, I did not want to look back into my past (that’s very unusual of me as through analysing your past experiences you learn the lessons of your life). Until I read one of my bro’s mate’s article titled ‘What does Rocky and a Trader have in common? A real rags to riches story…’ as you can guess, he is a financial market trader.  It really inspired me, all my learning lessons flew into my mind and I could not stop to write them…Most probably because the article highlighted the life experience of Rocky who inspired me since I was a child – maybe now it’s clearer where I get all my determination from. I invite you to read his inspiring article in full here: What Does Rocky and a Trader Have in Common?.

So, have you compared your learning lessons with mine? How many do we have in common?

Please let me know as I would love to share yours and learn from them. It will be very interesting and amazing to see your different perspectives of life!

Have you noticed again what is the acronym of my learning lessons? Let me know if you do!

After self-reflecting I hope you can see to get the best out of every event, circumstance, emotions, etc. which occur in our lives, we need to approach them with a positive mind-set. We need to ask ourselves the magical and powerful question:

What have I learned from my experiences?

 

Remember to take notes and put them into practice as every third of the year, I will write my own ones and you will have them ready to compare them with mine. Perhaps more importantly this will give more meaning to your experiences and to live your life to the full! As always, this is the beauty of life, it leaves something to learn from to enhance and enrich our future! “We come this way but once. We can either tiptoe through life and hope that we get to death without being too badly bruised or we can live a full, complete life achieving our goals and realising our wildest dreams.’ Bob Proctor

To your learning lessons which lead to your success!

Viv :-)

Fitness: Viv’s hot proven tips to keep your motivation foolproof! Part 2

A warm greetings to all my readers,

I hope you enjoyed last week’s article and many thanks for checking out my bro’s blog. It really was a nice surprise for him and for me as it was my highest hits day of this year! :-)If you haven’t read his inspiring article on ‘Olympic Dedication’ yet, here his link: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/olympic-dedication/.

In part 1, I shared 4 out of my 8 proven tips to keep my motivation foolproof. You will have noticed they all focused on organisation and strategy. The tips I will be revealing in this article will be focused on the mind-set. To start we need to work on our mind-set and need to understand the importance of fitness in our lives. Moreover the reasons why we workout.

What are your thoughts on fitness? What comes to your mind when you think about fitness?

Are your thoughts positive or negative?

If positive then you are starting with the right attitude. If you are thinking about fitness in a negative light, such as it’s too hard or it requires a lot of time, then you will need to focus on your mind-set to a greater degree. This is because everything starts from your feelings, the way you feel about people and things which affect your thoughts and consequently your actions. Not to worry here are my four proven tips to keep you motivated to fitness success!

Tip 5 : Make your goals visual with a Visualising Board

Use a visualising board to keep you motivated. Put pictures of the body you want to get and when you don’t feel motivated, look at it – believe me it works… When you visualise your goals clearly and specifically, you create a positive state of mind for changing your exercise behaviour. Make your mental rehearsal vivid and specific — see yourself exercising and achieving your fitness goals. My two visual boards are located in strategic places: one on my fridge and one in my bedroom next to my pillow so I always remind myself of my fitness goals before I go to sleep or after I wake up. In addition to this I have one as a screen saver in my laptop for back up during the day. By building your visualising board today it will keep you focused and motivated to achieve your fitness goals!

 

Tip 6 : Choose your workout music

This is very important because all of us have a different taste in music. For example some music that will help motivate me, may not have the same effect with you. Download into your iPod, your favourite upbeat music and use it during your workout, you will see the difference it will make in your speed and results…It also will keep you going when you think you have already  given your 100%, music makes miracles…Personally I can’t live without it!

 

Tip 7 : Choose who you let into your health and fitness circle of influence carefully and make your goals public!

Surround yourself with healthy people and those who love exercise and fitness. Enter some Fitness Challenges to hold you accountable of your actions and your results! I have recently entered two and they have made a huge impact to mine!

Make your goals public – maybe not as public as I’ve been doing with my articles! By telling other people what we want to do helps us to commit. We feel that we have to train otherwise we would be letting everyone down. Also people can encourage and support too. In this way we become motivated.

Having a peer group with similar ambitions will help keep you on track. You will find the topic of fitness will be in regular conversation, what to eat, how to train. All of this will reinforce what you set out to do. I actually want to thank all the members who participated in the challenges I mentioned previously, they have played a big part in supporting me to my success! If you don’t have anyone who is involved in exercise you can subscribe to health magazines, fitness quotes, fitness clubs, etc. This will have the same effect on your mind-set as spending time with a physical person…I know it’s more fun and it’s more enjoyable to have someone to talk to about it but it still works when nobody is around!

 

Tip 8 : Work on your mind-set and focus on the ‘Feel Good Factor’!

It’s important to identify thoughts that undermine our desire to exercise regularly. Countering those thoughts with messages that reinforce our motivation can help us achieve our goals. Paying attention to what goes through your mind when it’s time to exercise will help you change the thoughts and habits that could be holding you back. Write down each thought, such as, “It’s too hard,” “I’m too out of shape,” “I don’t have time,” or “I’d rather watch TV”, etc. After you do this replace the mentioned sabotaging thoughts with “positive self-talk” – such as encouraging yourself to exercise and acknowledging your accomplishments by making positive statements to yourself for example ‘Well done!’, ‘Better performance’, ‘Great results!’, etc. If you think it’s too hard to exercise, write out a plan to gradually increase your exercise intensity. Becoming stronger will give you greater endurance for exercise and will make your workouts less challenging. Don’t forget to read over your goals and reasons for exercising on a daily basis as it helps to reinforce your motivation.

Always focus on how good you feel after making the decision to workout, you’ll never regret it! ‘Tough times are like physical exercise. You may not like it while you are doing it, but tomorrow you will be stronger because of it.’ :-)

 

In my own pursuit of learning more about the mind-set I have had the pleasure of being inspired by another very talented guy who has recently written a very powerful article on its implications in elite performance. He points out there is a commonality among high achievers such as Usain Bolt and Steve Jobs … don’t forget to read his final paragraph, it’s so inspiring and very motivating! Here is his link: http://qitrading.blogspot.co.uk/p/trader-psychology.html

 

To boost our motivation to exercise, we need to change our thoughts to affect our feelings and consequently our actions and results. Positive thinking is a very good starting point! :-)

 

 

This last tip is the most important of all as your results will depend on your mental strengths so don’t underestimate it’s power! You can’t have both excuses and results together! Get rid of your excuses and you will see your tangible results!

How do you feel now? How are your thoughts about health and fitness now? Still the same or have you noticed any difference?

 

Are you NOW motivated to keep your routine workout?

I actually can hear some of you saying: ‘I wish it was so simple’. The thing is that it really is this simple, just it isn’t easy. Otherwise everyone would have a healthy and fit body and it wouldn’t be one of the hottest topics on this planet! I have been struggling with this sector of my life for a long time. After giving it my very best and obtaining great results, I was so surprised to realise how simple this all is! I know how you are feeling now as I have been there many times and this is why I urge you to follow the tips above and you will experience a turnaround of your health and Fitness levels:-)

The first stage, the starting point is quite possibly the hardest step you will make in your journey to improve your health and fitness. Just remember ‘you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great’. Once you have started and won the ‘Monday there is a new me’ scenario, you need to find a daily motivation to keep going for the rest of the week and to ultimately achieve your health and fitness results. Do not be concerned, as ‘behind you is infinite power, before you is endless possibility, around you is boundless opportunity, your strength is mental, physical and spiritual.’ ~ 50 cent. Then we need to balance out between exercise and nutrition to get results as ‘fitness is 100% dedication to your exercise and your diet’. When your short-term goals become a challenge, remind yourself each day that your long-term goal is permanent health, fitness and longevity especially in the middle of the week. When we are half way through our fitness goals, we need to stay strong! Work really hard and make conscious decisions. Stay focused and remember your goals! If we are disciplined and have a strong mental metal to go through all the previous stages, we finally get some results and that is rewarding because ‘obstacles are placed in our way to see if what we want is really worth fighting for.’ Only if you achieve your health and fitness goals, the last stage of the fitness process, you will find out that the following quote are absolutely true: ‘I never regret a workout. I only regret a missed one and as long as we persevere and endure, we can get anything we want.‘ ~ Mike Tyson. The magnificence of it is that you can now have a successful formula which you can apply to every aspect of your life! Is that not a priceless gift worthy of  our efforts, dedication, hard work and endurance? Definitely, it is. :-)

 

The truth is that no matter what your fitness level may be, it is not always possible to be motivated. Mahatma Gandhi said “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” I am sure you agree with me that it is difficult to argue the truth of this statement, but it is also difficult to live by it as a reality. While it is often difficult to stick with fitness goals, people don’t realise the motivation is within them so don’t give up in front of any setbacks, if you fight them through, they will make you a stronger person, I can guarantee you from personal experience!

Remember that you have the power to change what you don’t like and to create your future!

I want to conclude this article with one very inspiring quote which keeps me going when I don’t feel motivated to exercise:

‘Get going. Move forward. Aim high. Plan takeoff. Don’t just sit on the runaway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won’t happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me. You’ll love it up here.’ :-)

In the last two articles, I have shared my 8 hot proven tips that I use to maintain or boost my levels of motivation. Just remember that ‘the way to success is to follow the work out motivation tips that work for you knowing that all the days that you wake up. You got one job, and that’s to get better every single day.’ ~ Derrick Rose

To conclude, I want to leave you with the most valuable tip I can give you as my gift for reading this article to the end: please don’t wait for someone/fitness coach to ask you to share your fitness experience. Don’t wait to research more about exercise, don’t wait to get started. I have experience all of this myself and I feel sadden and ashamed that I tried for so long to get healthy and fit without knowing what I was supposed to eat and what type of workouts/muscles I was supposed to exercise. I didn’t take action to learn and really wasted so much time and health! However I turned this negative situation into a positive one and used it to motivate me to work harder. So don’t worry how negative your past experiences have been, use it to push you to success this time around.

Why do you not make this Olympics season memorable and a milestone in your health and fitness journey?

Please don’t wait another day, start NOW to reap amazing results!

 

Thanks for allowing me to share your and my own health and fitness journey with you!

Now I am off for my run! Hope to see you on the road (of Health & Fitness)!

To your long-term increasing motivation which leads to your continued success!

Viv :-)

Fitness: Viv’s 8 hot proven tips to keep your motivation foolproof! Part 1

A very warm greetings to all my readers,

I firstly wanted to share with you the success that my blog pushed through the 200,000 unique hits mark today which is incredible considering that it has been live only for eight months…Thank you for your support and for the nice words and comments received…I really appreciate it!

In the last few articles, I have touched upon the subject of fitness. I felt that the Olympic season made this topic all the more relevant, as many of us no doubt have been inspired to either get into shape or start a new sport.

Can you feel how much greater your motivation towards fitness has become since watching the Olympics? But what will happen now that the games have ended?

 

To keep you motivated whatever season we are in, I am going to share my 8 hot proven tips! I’ll cover the first 4 in this article and the rest in the next one.

Make sure you are in a comfortable position to read this article! Remember that sometimes you just need a few tweaks here and there to make a huge difference in your own results. I suggest taking notes to fully benefit from this article.

Let’s crack on then…

You will agree that exercise is important, but unfortunately just knowing that is not enough to make an impact on your body. Knowledge without action is pointless as you will not achieve any results! Getting in a steady amount of exercise each week can be demanding but is essential to your overall health.

So how can we ensure we manage to fit in our weekly workout routines?

We can achieve health and fitness through a balanced approach that includes daily attention to diet and exercise. Short-term solutions, such as excessive exercise or fad diets, prevent us from committing to permanent lifestyle changes. Our aim is to have a balanced and healthy regime which requires equal attention to choosing nutritious foods, engaging in physical activities every day, building regular exercise into our week and taking time for recreation.

 

What choices do you make over your health and fitness?

 

What choices do you make over your diet and nutrition?

 

Why do you make these choices?

Answering these questions with honesty will uncover some important truths about you and your decisions in life! It’s very powerful to be self-aware of why we make our choices. This knowledge allows us to make changes that can move us closer to achieving our desired results!

As I covered in my last article, the key to creating a steady workout routine is finding activities you enjoy, making a space in your schedule to do it and then not feeling guilty about taking the time for yourself to go and do them. When you exercise, you feel better overall, and become more productive in other areas of your life.

Daily tips and motivation can help you stay focused, encourage you to make informed choices and help you make a lifelong commitment to a permanent and healthier lifestyle.

Below are the first 4 tips which cover the technical and organisational strategies I use to keep my motivation levels high. The next 4 will focus on mind-set.

 

Tip 1 : Decide your fitness goals

 

Decide exactly what you want to achieve and create specific fitness goals. These might include increasing stamina, increasing resistance, losing weight, developing muscles, etc. One of the initial reasons why my progress was limited was because I was just focusing on losing weight. This in itself may or may not be fitness related so I essentially didn’t have a fitness goal to achieve. Now that I personally have set some, I know that losing weight is a by product of my health and fitness goals and I don’t need to focus on it anymore.

I suggest having a fitness coach as he/she can also suggest exercises that make your workout more efficient. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym, like the saying goes work smart not hard. In addition to running 3 times a week I only exercise 24 minutes a day. This is especially helpful if you are as hard pressed for time as I am. A fitness coach is also beneficial for demonstrating how to effectively perform exercises. This is very important to achieve the full benefit of your training and to ensure your safety.

Once your fitness goals have been decided stay focused on them. Do not be distracted by other people. Fight the urge to change your goals until you have achieved your desired outcome, this is very important if you want to see tangible results.

 

Tip 2 : Make workout appointments in your diary, create a fitness routine and commit to them!

 

This one is particularly useful for those of us with very busy schedules. Essentially make workouts a part of your daily routine by setting exercise appointments. The only way to ensure that I exercise regularly is to integrate health and fitness as part of my business routine. Look at your current schedule and determine when you can reasonably fit in a workout and decide on a day and a time for your fitness exercise and commit to it, just like you would with a business appointment. Try not to double-book yourself or do anything else that may cause you to miss your appointment.

If you don’t feel like you have the discipline yet to stick to a weekly routine attend classes as they require you to turn up and leave at certain times and days of the week. Missing one would be like missing an important appointment at work. An added bonus is that they change things up and make things more fun. Personally I attend some classes to ensure that I execute my exercises in the correct way as it is easy to get bad posture and the workout will not be effective as it should be.

 

One method I found to be particularly useful for myself and others with packed diaries is to get into an exercise habit or ritual. Program yourself to train on certain days at certain times of the week. This will help you get and sustain momentum with your exercise goals, making it more difficult for you to skip a workout. Commit to a routine for at least a month so it becomes a habit. It really works as you train your body to exercise and will get you in the habit of doing so regularly. I can talk from personal experience that your body and mind will alert you when you skip your exercise, it’s like having an internal clock. In fact I can’t go to bed unless I have done my daily workout!

This time is your time and, because of the benefits that exercise can have on your health, happiness and well-being, it should be treated with the same degree of importance as any other crucial appointment. My diary is crammed with both business and personal appointments every day, you see it’s not about finding the time but making the time to exercise. I see it as my most important appointment for the day! I owe it to myself and you do too!

 

Tip 3 : Fail to Plan and Plan to Fail!

‘Preparation is the key to success!’ This concept is exceptionally valid with regards to your nutrition. I found that since I plan and organise my meals and my exercises on a daily basis not only physically but mentally it definitely helped me stay motivated with my fitness plans. Honestly I have always struggled with skipping meals as I am always on a go and often, I found myself going all day without eating anything! So now I eat little and often and drink plenty of water. Also as my meals are all planned and ready they are rarely skipped! It gave me an extra edge and far better results both in life and in business!

 

 

Tip 4 : Track and monitor your progress and reward yourself!

Create a chart to track your progress both with your exercise and with your nutrition. A notebook with the days and times of your workout and food consumption works fine. Also take measurements of yourself (arm, waist, navel, hip, thigh, etc) and compare it on a weekly basis to monitor your results, it’s very motivating! If you find that you are taking the opportunity to exercise at a different time of day or are going shorter or longer in your sessions, adjust your schedule accordingly. Track your speed, number of reps and any exercise you do and write it down. Every time you exercise, your aim should be to beat your previous time and rep numbers, etc. even if it is only one rep or second better, it’s still an improvement! It’s like having a competition with yourself every time! In this way, you will progress and have more motivation to exercise as you will look forward to testing your fitness level each time! Believe me, it works! Don’t forget to celebrate every little result and progress you make towards achieving your fitness Goals – there is always an excuse to celebrate and reward yourself:-)

 

The tips above have definitely helped me to improve on what technical and organisational strategies I need to employ to keep my focus on and to strengthen my determination to keep going until I achieve my health and fitness goals. I sincerely hope that some of the tips above will be beneficial to your motivation levels.

The way you care for your body determines your level of health and fitness. You make important and conscious choices each day about diet and nutrition, physical activity and emotional wellness. Your choices can help you reduce your risk of developing chronic medical conditions, diseases and increase your overall health and wellness. It’s all about choices and making conscious decisions on a daily basis. Remember that we have the power to determine what we do on a regular basis because No matter who you are. No matter what you do, you absolutely, positively do have the power to change and to become what you want in your life!

I want to take this opportunity to thank from the bottom of my heart everyone who is sharing my health and fitness journey with me. You are certainly helping me to achieve my fitness goals. Finally a big thanks goes to those that have supported me to start writing articles on this topic! I have been blown away with all your encouragement, I really do appreciate it! A special thanks goes to my dear bro who inspired me to take the first step to train and achieve my health and fitness goals. He has been a real role model, thank you! I invite you to read his last blog which funny enough covers the same subject on ‘Olympic dedication.’ As they say great minds think alike! It’s very inspiring, please have a read and let him know as today is a very ‘special’ day for him. As the content of his blog is so relevant to life I feel that it should really be more widely shared. To celebrate his special day, let’s make sure we give it the highest hits of the year! Here is the link: http://springboardyourself.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/olympic-dedication/

To your long term health and fitness achievements,

Viv :-)

Fitness: 10 ways to keep your motivation to exercise

Dear readers,

I hope this article finds you well!

Whilst enjoying the Olympic Games some of us might have wondered:

Where do these athletes find the motivation and determination to stick to their gruelling exercise plans?

Improving our fitness or losing weight could easily have been one of our New Year’s resolutions. To think that was only just seven months ago!

Was one of your New Year’s goals related to health and fitness?

How are you doing with your fitness and health goals? Are you on track or have you fallen behind?

While many people start an exercise routine, the American College of Sports Medicine states that only one in three people manage to stick with it. People who drop out of exercise often cite lack of motivation as a reason for not continuing with their workouts.

If you are on track, I applaud you. Well done to stick to your health and fitness plan! Personally I am actually slightly behind schedule. If you are falling behind like me or have completely given up I urge you to find out why this might be happening. It could be something constant that is continually reoccurring each time you set a new goal. It will be down to us to do something about it to ensure that this will stop happening.

A lack of motivation could be the result of stress or poor nutrition, but there are several ways to stay motivated to exercise and reach your long-term health and fitness goals. Whether you’re training for a marathon or want to raise your fitness levels, you can take steps to increase your motivation.

I have spent quite a long time surfing on the net to ensure I don’t miss out on valuable tips from the experts. During this research I cannot believe how much useful and easily accessible information is out there. In just a few hours, your knowledge can increase greatly but above all your health and fitness will take a turn for the positive!

So after a great deal of research and analysis, I have grouped all my discoveries into ten main motivational tips for you to benefit from. I am sure they will help you stay focused and encourage you to stick to your fitness plan to achieve your desired goals.

Here we go with the 10 ways to keep your motivation to exercise.

1. ESTABLISH AND WRITE YOUR FITNESS STATEMENT

Write down your reasons for working out, make sure you have a strong ‘WHY.’ Without a purpose you will not feel compelled to achieve your desired outcomes. Once this is done keep revising your goals to focus your attention and remind yourself why you train and continue to do so. A fitness statement is a powerful way to keep motivated to exercise.

2. SET SMART GOALS

Don’t just exercise in a meaningless way. Setting goals is a proven method of enhancing your motivation as you can monitor your progress. Set a specific long-term goal and ensure you can measure your development. Setting and meeting achievable exercise goals increases the efficiency of your workout. Break your long-term goal down into realistic short-term goals. This is an effective way to reach your desired outcome no matter how ambitious they are. Finally ensure that each goal you set is time-bound, and so has a deadline.

Another strategy is to write your goals down several times to imprint them in your mind. This keeps you focused and helps you to commit.

3. HAVE FUN

If you’re stuck in a workout rut, then think about how you can make things more interesting. Choose a workout which you will enjoy, have fun and add variety to your exercises.

The sheer variety of activities is countless and ensures we really have no excuses as there will be something we like whether that is dancing, aerobic classes, skipping, etc. Once you discover your passion you will find it difficult to miss a workout. Thus actively looking forward to exercise will help you to commit to your routine on a regular basis.

4. RECRUIT AN EXERCISE BUDDY

Another way to increase your motivation is to find a workout buddy who can be accountable for your fitness goals. This will help to assist you to stick to your plans, as not working out would mean letting your buddy down. To add more incentives for training harder you can encourage friendly competition and challenge each other to really go the extra mile.

Remember to choose your workout buddy wisely as you both want to benefit from the partnership by having similar goals and fitness levels.

5. VISUALISE

Visualising yourself achieving goals in an effortless way will help you to obtain your desired outcome. Many top athletes use this technique when training for competition day. Visualising your success will also help keep you motivated in front of setbacks along your fitness journey.

6. MUSIC

Download some of your favourite songs to an MP3 player or listen to CDs which have the power to put you in an optimistic mood. Personally I find upbeat music makes my workouts more enjoyable and increases my motivation to continue.

7. GET COMPETITIVE

A natural aspect of our lives is competition, the act of winning encourages and motivates us to work harder. This is no different in fitness, so look out for opportunities to participate in competitive events. 

If you need some advice or ideas, you can look for local sports leagues or in local fitness events such as marathons, biking races, etc. If you can’t find any in your area then, you can create your own among friends, workout buddies or compete with yourself.

8. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES

Your mind is the most powerful thing you possess so use it to the fullest. Taking charge of your thoughts can prove to be a very effective way of staying motivated to work out. Think about motivating or positive words before, during and after you train. Reading quotes in books or online will also help when you are not exercising as they will affect your subconscious mind. The benefits to your health will be countless.

9. TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

Measure your progress on a daily, weekly and monthly basis by keeping a journal or log of each session as you can see how far you have progressed since your first workout and how far you have to go to reach your fitness goals. It helps to look back at where you have started as it shows how much progress you have already made and how far you have come during the setbacks along the way. This will help your commitment to your fitness goals as you can see what you have achieved so far.

Measurements might include how many reps you do, how fast you run, your weight, what you eat in your food diary, etc. You can also visualise your progress by taking before and after pictures.

10. CELEBRATE YOUR PROGRESS!

Ensure that any goals that are achieved, long or short term are rewarded. Don’t take this as an  opportunity to indulge in chocolates, instead focus on reinforcing good behaviours such as new gym equipment, a day out cycling, or may be a eating a healthy meal with friends.

One bit of advice would be to check with your doctor before starting or adjusting your exercise routine. It must be personalised to and your level of fitness. Your doctor will be able to advise you of what your body is capable of and what type of nutrition you should follow to accompany your routine. This addition of professional help will provide an edge to your workout plans, and thus will greatly benefit your results.

The secrets of the athletes have been revealed, now it is within your responsibility to TAKE ACTION……..

So what is your next step?

Only you will know which one of the above techniques needs to be implemented into your life. Once you have things figured out make your decisions concrete by implementing them in your workout plan. ‘There is no one giant step that does it, it’s a lot of little steps’ – P.A. Cohen.

As already mentioned in my previous article, as far as I can remember I have always struggled with the topic of fitness. As a result I am working hard to ensure I constantly am finding new and more effective ways to motivate myself to success‘I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying’ – Michael Jordan.

In my article next week, I will provide you with my proven tips for keeping and increasing my motivation whilst exercising in order to acquire a healthy lifestyle.

To conclude I would love to share these two very powerful motivational quotes with you:

‘When you feel like quitting: Think about why you started’

‘One of the greatest moments in life is realising that just two weeks ago your body couldn’t do what it just did!’

You know you can do it, you have the power to achieve your fitness goals…

Let’s start now and keep going until we get the results we deserve. Know that along the way there will be challenges but facing them and overcoming them will be well worth the effort ten times over!!!

To achieving motivation in your fitness lifestyle,

Viv :-)